MANILA — Manny Pacquiao is asking for P3 billion from the Department of Tourism (DOT) to fund a boxing match the senator and world champion plans to stage in the Philippines sometime in November.
“Kinausap nga ako ni Manny Pacquiao, we talked and he said, humingi siya ng P3 billion for the fight,” said Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo in an interview on DZMM’s Pasada Sais Trenta.
The last time Pacquiao fought in the Philippines was when he beat Oscar Larios on points on July 2, 2006 at Araneta Coliseum.
Teo said the DOT isn't inclined to grant the boxer’s wish unless he’s fighting someone as popular as he is.
“Sabi ko, 'pag si (Floyd) Mayweather siguro ang kalaban niya o si (Juan Manuel) Marquez. I was telling him, 'pag Mayweather o si Marquez, madali 'yung i-sell, kaya namin ang P3 billion,” Teo said.
For context, the Miss Universe pageant on January 30 has a budget of about $14 million. P3 billion is roughly the equivalent $60.4 million.
The supposed November bout could be the last in Pacquiao’s career as most analysts believe he won’t be fighting beyond this year.
Pacquiao is set to defend his WBO welterweight championship against relatively unknown Australian Jeff Horn on April 22, Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum told ESPN.
Arum has reached an agreement with Duco Events, who handles Horn, for a bout on April 22 when the Philippine Senate is in recess.
However, the site of the bout has not been finalized. In previous interviews, Horn has expressed his desire to fight Pacquiao at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, which has a 50,000-person capacity.
"Once we have a location, then I'll fly over to the Philippines to meet with Manny and finalize everything on our side. But he is going to fight Jeff Horn," Arum told ESPN.
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