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Manny Pacquiao looking to the Middle East for his next fight

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao 62-7-2 (39) remains in a holding pattern as he awaits news on the easing of travel restrictions that would see him allowed to travel to the US to fight.

The global coronavirus pandemic has largely shut down international travel with boxing set to resume in the US next month minus crowds.

The situation has placed pressure on promoters who rely on the live gate to maximise revenue opportunities.

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The 41-year-old Filipino southpaw is coming off an impressive points victory over previously undefeated American Keith Thurman in Las Vegas las July and early discussion had taken place to match him against his WBO counterpart and fellow lefty Terence Crawford 36-0 (27) later this year.

Top Rank president Todd duBoef told Yahoo Sports that nothing is happening.

“This is a weird time, obviously, and how do you propose anything with those big fights when you are looking at zero gate revenue?” duBoef said.

“Those bigger fights, unless someone from the Middle East or somewhere in Asia came up with a huge offer out of the blue, I think are going to be difficult to make at this point.

“We’re just concerned with getting boxing back in the US, and there is nothing I know of at this point [going on with Pacquiao and Crawford].”

Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s advisor Sean Gibbons says the Filipino senator could end up fighting in the Middle East rather than Stateside.

“The situation this world is in is very fluid right now and things are changing daily, weekly and monthly,” Gibbons said.

“I haven’t seen anybody having fights with large amounts of fans yet and I don’t know really know how to move forward at this point with what is going on. I think those discussions will begin in the next month or so if things continue to improve.

“So as things get better over the next month, if the Senator was going to target any time, I believe it would be November, December when he’d be looking to get back into the ring somewhere.

“I think the US is a difficult proposition right now given the circumstances and all that has happened.

“I don’t rule anything out yet. It’s just so early considering the situation in the world.”

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