Philippine boxing hero Manny Pacquiao plans to fight again in September, with the bout likely to be staged outside the United States to avoid high taxes, his spokeswoman said yesterday, increasing speculation that Macau could be the star's next venue.
Negotiations are under way for a rematch with Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked Pacquiao out in his last fight in December, although the opponent and the venue had yet to be finalised, Rose Tamayo said.
"The fight is definitely in September. We will talk about the opponent and the place after the May 13 elections," Tamayo said.
Pacquiao, 34, is running for re-election as a congressman in next month's Philippine mid-term polls, and he is now on the campaign trail.
Tamayo said Pacquiao wanted his next fight to be outside the US, where he had traditionally fought in front of huge crowds and for enormous pay-per-view television revenues, to avoid high taxes.
"Manny wants to fight outside the United States because of the taxes … Singapore is one of the top places for consideration. There is also Macau and Dubai."
Pacquiao has won an unprecedented eight world titles in different weight divisions, and was until recently regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer.
But Pacquiao lost his World Boxing Organisation welterweight crown in June last year in a controversial points decision to US fighter Timothy Bradley, then suffered his shock knockout defeat to Marquez.
His losses prompted calls for him to retire, but Pacquiao has consistently signalled his intention to keep on fighting.
Pacquiao's sporting achievements lifted him and his family out of deep poverty, as he became one of the highest paid sportsmen in the world and an endorser of myriad products in the Philippines.
He translated his boxing success into the political ring, winning a seat in the nation's lower house of parliament in 2010.
Pacquiao is running for re-election unopposed in the May polls, while seeking to build a power base for his family. Pacquiao's wife and brother are also running for posts.
Many Philippine politicians draft in relatives to stand for other elective positions to spread their influence.