Philippine superstar Manny Pacquiao is considering taking his next fight to Macau in September, in a move that could pave the way for more big fights in the gambling city.
Pacquiao's chief adviser, Michael Koncz, said the Filipino wants a fifth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez away from Las Vegas, "because of high US taxes" that would be incurred if the bout were staged in the American gambling capital, according to Yahoo Sports. Promoter Bob Arum is arranging a fifth match between Pacquiao and Marquez potentially on September 14, with Arum preferring the bout to be staged at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
However, reports suggest 34-year-old Pacquiao is baulking at another Las Vegas excursion, to avoid the 39.6 per cent tax rate he would face if he were to fight again in the US.
It is already confirmed that Arum will travel to Macau in April, to promote the professional boxing debut of China's two-time Olympic gold medallist, Zou Shiming. Zou, China's most successful boxer, has signed with the legendary promoter and will make his professional debut on April 6 at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
Arum would probably take the opportunity to test Macau's waters before deciding whether the city is feasible for a Pacquiao rematch with Marquez.
Local boxing promoter John Hui Kin-yip thinks bringing Pacquiao to Macau would be a "good move". "I think it is a great opportunity for one of the big promoters to finally make the step into Macau," Hui said.
"With the tax advantage in Macau hopefully this will attract more big fights there and kickstart the popularity of professional boxing in Asia and especially China."
However, Hui, who joined forces with former world champion Ricky Hatton in helping to promote boxing in Hong Kong and on the mainland, said he would be surprised if a Pacquiao fight went ahead in Macau.
"Pay-per-view revenue would be far less [in Macau] than Las Vegas and there's a big time difference between the US and Macau. Let's see whether it really happens," Hui said.
Arum told Yahoo Sports that Pacquiao would probably keep most of his purse if he fought in Macau. "Manny can go back to Las Vegas and make US$25 million, but how much of it will he end up with - US$15 million?" Arum said.
"If he goes to Macau, perhaps his purse will only be US$20 million, but he will get to keep it all, so he will be better off."
Arum conceded that while Pacquiao could avoid a huge tax bill by fighting in Macau, it would hurt pay-per-view sales - perhaps as much as 50 per cent less if the fight were staged there.
Pacquiao will be out for revenge after he was knocked out by Marquez in the sixth round of their December 8 bout in Las Vegas. That fight sold 1.15 million units on pay-per-view. A fifth fight in Las Vegas would probably generate similar sales.
Macau was mooted as a possible venue for a Pacquiao v Floyd Mayweather Jnr fight last year, but the proposal fell through.