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Manny Pacquiao: 'PacMan' heads East... possibly for good

Joseph Herron Updated
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If all things go according to script, Manny Pacquiao's next appearance in the ring should take place on November 22nd in Macau, China, against an opponent to be named shortly.

While most fight scribes and boxing fans have second guessed Top Rank's decision to follow through with their plan to march into the Chinese market, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum insists that the strategy is the best option for the Las Vegas based promotional company, as well as their PPV cash cow, Manny Pacquiao.

(Image courtesy of HBO)

"Boxing is booming in China," claims the 82 year old CEO of Top Rank, Inc.

"And once we start our weekly show, which will air in July on a prime time slot and potentially reach 50 million homes...maybe more, the sport will become even more popular in that area."

"We're not just limiting our market to Macau, we have plans to stage fight cards throughout the mainland starting in August. Beijing and Shanghai will be host cities for big events later this year."

"What was once a dormant sport in China, is now becoming a major pastime."

Compared to the majority of mainstream sports fans and beat writers throughout the United States, who have seemingly made a conscious effort to keep the sport of boxing at arm's length, the four decade fight promoter has observed a much more receptive and hospitable climate among reporters and media outlets within "The Middle Kingdom".


"Look at the latest fight between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden," expounds Bob Arum. "There wasn't a line written about it within the mainstream New York papers. In comparison, there were over 50 journalists from all over China that showed up to cover our last event in Macau."

"The climate is much different over there, and it's much healthier for the sport of boxing. In China, boxing is perceived as something special. In America, boxing is merely looked at as a failing sport, which is wrong."

"There are good kids that sacrifice so much for this sport every time they compete in the ring, and the sports editors of the mainstream periodicals simply don't care. It's just not right."

"That's what is currently happening in the U.S., and the exact opposite is happening in China...it's becoming more and more popular. At my age, that's the wave I want to ride. That's why we're going to Macau."

For Pacman's November 22nd PPV fight card, Top Rank is planning to schedule Manny in the main event of the evening, with two-time Olympic gold medal winner Zou Shiming in the co-main, and will be available for the first time throughout China at the bargain basement price of only 19 RMB...which equates to approximately $3.06 in US currency.

Although China PPV sales weren't available for the "Pacquiao vs. Rios" event on November 24th of last year, the "red" market will be open for business during Manny's next outing.

Bob is optimistic, to say the least.

"We have the whole infrastructure is in place," emphatically states Arum. "Our program is going to push it, and we hope to do between three and four million PPV buys in China."

"Will we do it? I really don't know, but China has really surprised me up to this point."


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