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Pacquiao vs Garcia being eyed in Dubai

Pacquiao vs Garcia being eyed in Dubai

MANILA, Philippines — If and when the fight happens, WBA welterweight champion in-recess Manny Pacquiao certainly won’t get peanuts staking his reputation against American Mikey Garcia in Dubai.

Pacquiao’s first fight in 21 months may take place either July or August, according to the senator’s business manager, Arnold Vegafria, on behalf of Paradigm Sports Management (PSM).

Vegafria refused to reveal details on Pacquiao’s purse for the possible showdown, but said it will definitely be worth it under the prevailing circumstances.

“The senator will be happy. In fact, very happy,” Vegafria told The STAR yesterday.

For beating Keith Thurman in July 2019 in Las Vegas, the 42-year-old Pacquiao was guaranteed $10 million not counting all the other revenues. The American was guaranteed $2.5 million.

The welterweight fight sold around 500,000 pay-per-view hits.

Vegafria said the fight against Garcia, 33, a four-division world champion, is being finalized and PSM, headed by American-Iraqi Audie Attar, will be the one to make the formal announcement.

“Hopefully very soon,” added Vegafria, adding that one of Pacquiao’s associates, a lawyer, is flying to the United Arab Emirates city known for luxury shopping and ultra-modern architecture.

“We’re dealing with the right people in Dubai,” said Vegafria, who brushed off previous reports of Pacquiao taking on undefeated WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford in the Middle East.

“Fake news,” he said.

Dubai, according to the executive who runs a star-studded talent management company, is the perfect stage for Pacquiao’s first ring appearance during the pandemic.

“It’s a very safe place. People there have been vaccinated,” said Vegafria, who’s eyeing another big event for Pacquiao later this year should things fall into place.

“We’re still looking at Conor McGregor perhaps in December,” he said of the 32-year-old Irish superstar, who is eyeing another lucrative UFC fight around the same time Pacquiao returns to the ring.

McGregor is also under Paradigm Sports Management.