Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

Dubai or Las Vegas to host Manny Pacquiao’s comeback fight against Jessie Vargas

Dubai is in the running to host Manny Pacquiao’s next fight after it was confirmed he will return to the ring to fight WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.
Many Pacquiao will make his return to the ring in November to face WBO champion Jessie Vargas. Isaac Brekken / AP Photo
Many Pacquiao will make his return to the ring in November to face WBO champion Jessie Vargas. Isaac Brekken / AP Photo

Dubai is in the running to host Manny Pacquiao’s next fight after the Filipino boxer’s manager confirmed he will return to the ring to fight World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.

Pacquiao, 37, defeated Timothy Bradley on April 9 in what was thought to be his farewell fight to focus on his political career. He was elected to the Philippines Senate in May.

However, Pacquiao, an eight division world champion, has performed a U-turn on his boxing career and will face Vargas on November 5.

“Retirement doesn’t suit Manny right now,” Michael Koncz told the Los Angeles Times. “It is amazing what training and fighting does for him.”

• Exclusive interview — Bob Arum on Pacquiao: ‘My job was to present Manny as he really is, people just fell in love with him’

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, recently revealed he was involved in meetings to discuss the location of the fight, with Dubai and Las Vegas the leading options.

American Vargas (27-1-0) said on Friday he is in talks with Pacquiao’s camp to hold a fight at the Thomas & Mack Center arena in Las Vegas.

Koncz told the Times that he would travel with Arum to Philippines next week to meet with Pacquiao and pick a site.

“That’s the essence of the meeting,” Koncz said. “Not choosing an opponent. That’s already done.”

The UAE has been considered for high-profile fights in the past. Two-time world champion Amir Khan has continually expressed a desire to fight in the Emirates, with Pacquiao touted as a possible opponent.

The UAE was also suggested by the Pacquiao camp for his showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr, although Mayweather refused any possibility of hosting the fight outside Las Vegas.

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Updated: August 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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