DUBAI – The highly anticipated dream bout between boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may still push through – and it may happen neither in Las Vegas nor in Macau, but probably in Dubai.
The President and Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates have given the green light to hold talks for a possible staging of the mega-fight – long demanded by boxing fans – in Dubai.
Prince Amir Shafipour expressed confidence that they have the formula to bring to the negotiating table the handlers for both Pacquiao and Mayweather.
Representing Golden Cage Events and Promotions, Prince Amir was given the go-signal to coordinate with a major boxing promoter in the United States.
He did not reveal yet the identity of the promoter, but boasts that the latter has connections to both camps.
Prince Amir has the backing of UAE President Khalifa Bin Zayed AL Nahyan, whose vision is to make Dubai the premiere entertainment and tourism destination, not only in the Middle East, but globally.
He does not see any problem raising the prize money, or the handle of Top Rank Promotions of Bob Arum, where Pacquiao has an existing contract.
Reports have indicated that Mayweather is unwilling to work with Arum.
While admitting there could be slight problems in dealing with Mayweather, Prince Amir remains optimistic this could be ironed out.
Prince Amir and Golden Cage Events and Promotions were behind the huge success of the recently concluded Global Fighting Championships, held also in Dubai.
They are currently going through a financial study, reviewing the pay-per-view, and other TV rights in holding the Pacquiao-Mayweather mega-fight.
For years, Dubai has become a sports paradise for huge events in the field of golf, tennis and even horse racing. Prince Amir believes the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight could be the clincher.
He is set to leave for the United States in the next two to three weeks to finalize the negotiations.