There is some uncertainty as to who Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent will be, but there are no questions regarding where the fight will take place. For weeks the Filipino champion and his team have been insisting that a match in Las Vegas or anywhere else in America was off the table, and now their actions are backing up those sentiments.
A few weeks ago, after Pacquiao made it abundantly clear that he had no plans to retire, the former eight division champ laid out an interesting fight plan: he would fight at least once this year, but the fight wouldn’t take place where his prior 14 bouts had. Instead, he wanted to head off and explore new frontiers. Dubai, Singapore and the Philippines were all mentioned as possible options.
Pacquiao and his team made it no secret that they were annoyed with America’s current tax structure, however, for a while there it was still sort of difficult to imagine them actually fleeing the country over it. Obviously the threat sounds good, but would the former champ really avoid fighting in the United States after spending the most successful period of his career doing just that?
"We haven't received any application for 2013," NSAC director Keith Kizer told reporters recently, when asked if Pacquiao would fight in Las Vegas this year.
And for those of you just tuning in – boxers who don’t apply to fight in Vegas can’t actually fight in Vegas. If Pacquiao and his team haven’t sought out approval to hold a bout in America up to this point, that means they have no plans to do so.
Last week, in an interview with the Manila Bulletin, Arum expounded on why his guy didn’t want to fight in the United States anymore.
"He [Pacquiao] says that he doesn't want to fight in the United States because of the high taxes which I can hardly blame him and you know Marquez faces the same high taxes. The administration didn't help raising the tax rates from 35% to 39.6%. You know, there's a limit to what these guys wanna pay, you know, that's almost 40% of his purse going for taxes, that's a lot."
Such a massive change over four percent seems bizarre. Especially considering the fact that Pacquiao could easily make up the difference via American endorsements if he played up the “underdog” role in this one. Is that the real reason?
"In China they never heard of Mayweather, so they heard of Pacquiao they love Pacquiao. Apparently they're not much interested in Mayweather," Arum added.
Right. That explains it.