Pacquiao Watch: April fight in limbo
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Pacquiao Watch: April fight in limbo

While it is reported that Manny Pacquiao is bent on staging a comeback in April after his shocking knockout loss to nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, time and resources are not on his side unless he promotes the fight himself.

Time. Pacquiao’s suspension from all boxing-related activities won’t end until March and he is ineligible to fight in Las Vegas until mid-April, at the earliest. It is the Nevada State Athletic Commission who imposed the sanction, which meant he can’t fight in Las Vegas until the commission gives it the go signal. It is now February and finding a credible and bankable opponent for his stature is not as easy as picking a grocery item in a supermarket. He also needs to train seriously to avoid another debacle that will virtually end his lucrative and rewarding boxing career.

With those mentioned reasons, once cannot but help wonder who will be willing to bankroll an April fight date for him. For Pacquiao to receive at least a US$15 million guaranteed purse, somebody will have to underwrite the fight. The best way to do it is to go HBO or Showtime. But both producers will need a longer promotional campaign period to sell a fight involving Pacquiao against a non-entity. Top Rank Promotion’s Bob Arum, promoter of Pacquiao, had already gone on record saying that an April fight is already impossible. Arum is promoting a Brian Viloria fight in Macau in April and may not be able to raise the kind of serious guaranteed purse Pacquiao wants.

Pacquiao cannot also solely promote the fight without losing his shirt and sinking himself into heavy debts.

Reports said his team tried to convince PLDT’s Manny Pangilinan to backstop the fight, possibly in Manila, that will cost a staggering P1.2 billion (US$30 million) if Pacquiao gets his usual guaranteed purse. Pangilinan’s representatives reportedly turned it down.

The only way this fight is going to happen is for Pacquiao to settle for a far lesser money – maybe even US$5 million. But it will also involve the consent of Arum, under whom Pacquiao is under contract until 2014.

Pacquiao’s long time lawyer Jeng Gacal is himself unsure whether a Pacquiao fight in April would happen.

“I don’t know,” he said in a text message.

And with the May elections already heating up, Pacquiao’s handpicked candidates in General Santos City will need his personal presence and financial commitment to have a serious run in a proxy war aimed at toppling his old political nemesis. Pacquiao may enjoy the luxury of running unopposed in his re-election bid, but he cannot fail his wife Jinkee and brother Roel, who are also seeking public office, and friends who are relying on his graciousness for their campaign kitties.

These are pressures Team Pacquiao is forced to handle as a result of the downsides of his 2012 debacles.