x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Pacquiao advisers wait for Abu Dhabi decision

A missed deadline by Floyd Mayweather Jr could seal the deal for a November bout featuring the Filipino champion.

Floyd Mayweather Jr may have done Abu Dhabi boxing fans a favour yesterday. Because the American boxer failed to meet a deadline to negotiate a "superbout" with Manny Pacquiao, the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, Abu Dhabi's chances of staging a major fight featuring the Filipino later this year improved dramatically. The "Pac Man" and his advisers are now awaiting a decision - expected tomorrow - on whether the capital will host a fight.

Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank Promotions, which represents Pacquiao, and Michael Koncz, the fighter's adviser, confirmed they met with an Abu Dhabi official on Wednesday to discuss a the possibility of the Philippines's most famous and popular sportsman fighting in the capital. A fight would most likely be held in November. Mayweather failed to meet a deadline set by Pacquiao's camp to thrash out a deal to get two of the sport's best fighters in the ring to settle who has the right to claim to be the world's best pound-for-pound boxer.

However, Arum said the door was not completely closed to a fight with Mayweather later this year, according to the Associated Press. The best chance for Abu Dhabi would be a rematch with Miguel Cotto, the Puerto Rican who Pacquaio defeated in 12 rounds in November 2009 to claim the WBO welterweight title. @Email:sluckings@thenational.ae