Manny Pacquiao Is Planning On Bringing His Next Fight To The UAE

30 September 2019
Culture, Sports, Politics, Manny Pacquiao, Boxing, Basketball, MPBL, Dubai Expo 2020, Amir Khan
Image: Getty Images

Pacman could fight Amir Khan in time to coincide with the Dubai Expo 2020

Politics. The odd belting tune. And the little matter of being one of the world’s greatest ever boxers.

Manny Pacquiao is a man of many gifts.

And casually sinking 3-pointers is one of them, it seems.

On a weekend when the legendary Filipino boxer revealed he is looking to set up a world title fight in the UAE, he thrilled his army of fans in Dubai by taking part in the first ever Middle East edition of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), a competition he launched in 2017.

Speaking at the launch of the event, Pacquiao hinted that he would be willing to fight Amir Khan in Dubai sometime next year, to coincide with Expo 2020.

“I am planning for next year. Trying to make it for next year with a possible opponent, especially Amir Khan, who says he wants to fight me. We will talk again and it will be a good fight,” Pacquiao said in the presence of Saeed Hareb, the General Secretary of Dubai Sports Council. “We are negotiating for a fight in Dubai, and I am hoping that a fight can happen here in the future.”

In July, Pacquiao gained a split decision victory over Kieth Thurman in Las Vegas to claim the WBA Welterweight title. At 40, he became the oldest boxer to ever claim a belt in that division, and has now won 12 major world titles.

But the weekend was all about basketball as the event billed as "MPBL Dubai Invasion 2019" kicked off on Friday.

Representing his own Team Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Executives at Hamdan Sports Complex, Pacquiao scored 35 points on Friday as his team lost 99-96 to Dubai All-Stars DJMC, before gaining revenge on Saturday by posting another game-high 42 points in a 107-101.

Pacquiao showed off his skills by sinking several three-point shots to the delight of those who came to see him. Those cheers, however, will pale into insignificance should the Filipino hero take to the ring in Dubai next year.