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Bob Arum Targets Manny Pacquiao Fight for April 16 in Las Vegas

Dec 2, 2010 – 12:01 AM
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Lem Satterfield

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Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum has spoken to Nevada State Athletic Commission director, Keith Kizer, concerning a potential fight date of April 16 for Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Kizer told FanHouse on Wednesday.

"Bob Arum mentioned it to me today [Wednesday] that the date would be for Manny Pacquiao against somebody, but they don't know who yet," Kizer told FanHouse.

"There has been no official request yet, but it would be Manny Pacquiao and somebody on April 16," said Kizer. "There's nothing formal, and nothing's set in stone, but I think that that's just the plan. Whether it comes to fruition or not, we will see."

After twice staging bouts for Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) at The Dallas Cowboys Stadium, BoxingScene.com cited The Las Vegas Review Journal as reporting that Arum had secured a date for the Filipino congressman to return to Las Vegas for what would be his 12th fight there.

"I have to meet with Manny and make sure he's OK with it. It's an ideal date, right after the Final Four and at the start of the baseball season and right around the beginning of the NBA playoffs," Arum told The Las Vegas Review Journal.

"As long as it doesn't interfere with his duties in Congress [in the Philippines,] I think we'll be in good shape," said Arum. "I'm flying to Manila on the 12th. We should know more then."

In March, Pacquiao defended his WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title by unanimous decision over Joshua Clottey in the first-ever fight to be held at The Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

On Nov. 13, Pacquiao returned to the Cowboys Stadium, where he won the WBC's vacant junior middleweight (154 pounds) crown with a unanimous decision over ex-champion Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs).

In victory, Pacquiao earned his eighth title in as many different weight classes, and his 13th straight win with eight knockouts during that run.

Prior to going to Texas, Pacquiao had won six straight fights in Las Vegas, with the last four being by knockout.

Aside from six-time champion Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs), with whom negotiations for a fight with Pacquiao have twice reached an impasse, Arum told FanHouse that his top choices for Pacquiao's opponnents are five-time titlist Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs), WBO and WBA lightweight (135 pounds) king Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 38 KOs) and WBC welterweight belt-holder Andre Berto (27-0, 21 KOs).

"I'm leaving for the Philippines to see Manny on Dec. 12, which means that I'll get there on Dec. 14. I will be meeting with Manny sometime that week before his birthday, which is Dec. 17," Arum told FanHouse on Nov. 28. "My [79th] birthday is Dec. 8, and Manny's birthday is Dec. 17. I hope to have something lined up by Sunday, Dec. 19 when I return from the Philippines."

Arum broke down the marketability of the three fighters.

"Of all of the three guys, Andre Berto is the toughest sell because to the general public, he is totally unknown. I mean, when you look at the general public, of those three guys, who would be the guy that would be most well-known? Easily, it's Shane Mosley," said Arum.

"Shane Mosley's been around forever, he's beaten Oscar De La Hoya twice. So, it's Mosley. The second-most well-known of the three would be Marquez. You know? And, you know, with Marquez, there is a big drop off from Shane Mosley as far as the general public is concerned," said Arum.

"I'm not talking about the boxing public. And then, third, you have Andre Berto. Nobody knows who Andre Berto is," said Arum. "So, again, that has to be taken into consideration. I have to estimate with Manny how many buys that he thinks that he'll do with one of these guys."

Arum said that he already has spoken to Berto's promoter, Lou DiBella, and to Mosley and his adviser, James Prince, but that he still is waiting to hear from Marquez, who is promoted by rival Golden Boy Promotions.

"I have Berto's position. I have Mosley's position," Arum told The Las Vegas Review Journal. "I'm waiting on Marquez's position. If we don't get one [from Marquez,] we'll move on."

Golden Boy Promotions' CEO, Richard Schaefer, told FanHouse on Monday that he already had spoken to Top Rank President, Todd duBoef, even as he would not reveal any details of their conversation.

"I said that I would be talking to Todd, and I have talked to Todd," said Schaefer. "But I'm not going to elaborate on what we discussed. That's all that I'm really going to say. We had a good conversation with Todd today."

Pacquiao is 9-1-1, with seven knockouts overall in Las Vegas, and, 4-1-1 at MGM, where he debuted in the gambling city with a June, 2001, sixth-round stoppage of South Africa's Lehlohono Ledwaba for the IBF super bantamweight (122 pounds) belt.

Also at the MGM, Pacquiao has stopped Oscar De La Hoya in the eighth round, Ricky Hatton in the second, Miguel Cotto in the 12th, and battled to a draw with Juan Manuel Marquez while losing a unanimous decision there to Erik Morales.

At the Thomas and Mack in Las Vegas, Pacquiao has stopped Morales in three, and, 10 rounds. At the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Pacquiao has earned a split-decision over Marquez, a decision over Marco Antonio Barrera, and a ninth-round knockout of David Diaz.
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