Manny Pacquiao

Will Manny Pacquiao ever fight in Hong Kong? ‘Why not,’ says his manager but there is competition from other Asian cities

The veteran boxer is expected to stay in Asia for his next fight after lifting the WBA welterweight title in July

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2018, 8:03am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2018, 10:35am

Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will be in Asia with Hong Kong one of the candidate cities, though it is more likely to be in the Middle East or Southeast Asia.

The 39-year-old Filipino is expected to fight in November after returning to the top by winning the WBA welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 15.

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His business manager, Arnold Vegafria, said the popular fighter, who has held world titles in a record eight divisions, would definitely fight in Asia next.

When asked if Hong Kong was a possible venue, Vegafria replied: “Why not? Hong Kong is part of China and we are trying to promote boxing in China. And we’ve been to Macau in the past so it’s possible.

“We are still looking around. We want to fight in the Middle East, we also want to fight in Southeast Asia but we want to have it in Asia.”

“Pacman” has fought twice in Macau’s CotaiArena – in 2013 he faced American Brandon Rios for the vacant WBO International welterweight crown and in 2014 he faced WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri.

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He won both fights by unanimous decision. Pacquiao (60-7-2,39 knockouts) has been struggling to stay relevant as a fighter since losing on points in his mega-fight against Floyd Mayweather in 2015 in Las Vegas.

However, the Pacquiao of old appeared to return against Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse this month in Kuala Lumpur, with the Filipino stopping his opponent in the seventh round for his first victory inside the distance in nine years.

Pacquiao’s management team MP Promotions is now looking at possible opponents for their fighter. A list of names have been drawn up by the boxing media, including a rematch with Mayweather, but Boxing Scene writer Michael Rosenthal says he should choose his bouts carefully.

“Some people seem to believe that this version of Pacquiao has magically reverted to the dominating champion of a decade ago and could compete with the likes of young, athletic welterweight titleholders Errol Spence, Terence Crawford and Keith Thurman,” he wrote.

“No, no and no. The point here is that Pacquiao should think long and hard before choosing his next opponent if he doesn’t want to end up like [Oscar] De La Hoya or other faded stars who were annihilated – and embarrassed – in their final fights.”