Boxer planning an April bout – and there’s a chance it’ll be in Abu Dhabi

WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has been promising to come and fight in the UAE for a couple of years, and it looks like boxing fans will finally get their wish this April.

The Filipino superstar, who’s also known as The Pac Man, tweeted this week that he is heading for the emirates, saying ‘See you in UAE for my next fight #TeamPacquiao.’ He then went on to get his fans to vote for who they’d like him to fight, with British star Amir Khan the favourite choice, winning 48 per cent of the vote.

His opponent though could be Jeff Horn – it had previously been reported that Pacquiao would take on the Australian in Brisbane on April 23. But Pacquiao’s advisor Michael Koncz has claimed the Filipino welterweight star’s UAE clash will take place on April 22, adding his next fight will be ‘100 per cent in the UAE.’ Koncz was in Abu Dhabi last week discussing the clash, leading to speculation that the capital will host the fight.

A bout for the boxer in the UAE has been mooted since 2015, when local boxing chief M Akbar Muhammad claimed Pacquiao told him he would fight in the UAE in March 2016, but the boxer fought in Las Vegas in April that year instead.

His last fight was a victory over American Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas last November and he is enjoying his third reign as WBO welterweight champion. He’s also currently has a day job as a politician – he’s Senator of the Philippines, a role he will hold until 2022.

With more than 700,000 Filipinos living in the seven emirates, a bout here would be a massive money-spinner for the fighter and his promoter.