Dubai: Dubai looks set to host one of its most high-profile sporting events ever should the plan to host a world title fight between Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and Mexican-American star Miguel Angel Garcia becomes a reality.
Arnold Vegafria, Pacquiao’s business manager, triggered news of the blockbuster fight on Tuesday when he posted a teaser on his Instagram account – Arnold_vegafria.
The post, which Is simply accompanied by the word ‘soon’ features a boxing-style morphed image of the eight-division Filipino champion and four-division titlist Garcia. What’s even more interesting is that the image includes a shot of the majestic Atlantis, The Palm on Jumeirah Island, which hints at a possible venue for the epic fight.
However, a senior boxing promoter from the UAE who chose to remain anonymous, has hit out at the methods promoters are adopting to stage a Pacquiao fight. “The UAE’s sporting credibilty is at stake with these sort of underhand plans,” he said. “Boxing is one of the fastest growing sports in the UAE and all the hard work that has been done to develop it in the right way is being dismantled by these so called patrons of the sport.
“There was talk that Pacquiao will fight Terence Crawford in Abu Dhabi and now they are saying that he will fight Mickey Garcia in Dubai. How can he fight two different opponents in two different places? That’s ridiculous.”
Pacquiao (71 fights, 62 wins, 39 Kos_ has not fought since July 2018 where he won a close decision over Keith Thurman while Garcia (40-1) defeated Jessie Vargas in February 2020.
Currently serving as a Senator of the Philippines and as party president of the PDP–Laban party. Pacquiao is regarded as one of the greatest professional boxers of all time.
Although Vegafria as a legit Pacquiao insider, his instagram post can only be taken on face value pending confirmation from a legitimate local boxing promoters, which the source says does not exist.
While Pacquiao’s fight against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs), in Abu Dhabi fell apart, Garcia claimed last month that he was scheduled to fight Pacquiao in May.
Meanwhile, it is believed that Pacquiao has been doing light workouts in General Santos City with longtime local trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri.