Hong Kong eyed for next Manny fight

NEXT VENUE? Hong Kong has been eyed as the next venue for Manny Pacquiao’s fight. Athena Jillian Bravo

HONG KONG — This bustling, crowded city that’s home to thousands of Filipinos could be the venue for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s next fight.

HK’s South China Morning Post recently reported that Hong Kong is among the Asian cities mentioned as possible sites for the first defense of Pacquiao’s World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title.

SCMP reported that Arnold Vegafria, Pacquiao’s business manager for entertainment, bared that the top contenders are the Middle East, a Southeast Asian City, and even Hong Kong.

The fighting Philippine Senator will make his first title defense following his emphatic win over Lucas Matthysse of Argentina last July 15 in Kuala Lumpur.

Hong Kong, the former Crown Colony is home to thousands of Filipinos and is less than two hours by air from Manila, making it a prime destination in the event it stages a Pacquiao fight.

“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,” said Vegafria as quoted by the SCMP in a report posted on Manila-based boxing portal Philboxing.com.

However, nothing is clear as of the moment. For one, Pacquiao is back to his legislative duties in the Senate and has just cleared the air on his reported congenital heart ailment which he denied.

Another possible venue is the United States which is said to be also on Pacquiao’s radar as he hasn’t fought there since late-2016.

“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,” said Vegafria, who played a key role in Pacquiao’s appearance in Malaysia.

Anotjer possible venue would be London and that all depends on who Pacquiao is fighting.

Former stablemate and British pride Amir Khan is a candidate challenger which also puts London in the picture.

Pacquiao and Khan used to fight under one trainer—Freddie Roach—but have both expressed willingness to face each other in an actual bout other than their usual sparring sessions.