Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Now that pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao has filed his Certificate of Candidacy for the lone congressional seat of Sarangani, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is arriving in Manila on Thursday morning from Las Vegas to meet with the boxing hero and map out plans for his next fight.

Arum appeared a little disappointed that the assurances he was given by Team Pacquiao members that Pacquiao would run unopposed and that influential individuals in government, including President Arroyo, would succeed in convincing the well-established Chiongbian family in Sarangani not to run against the boxing hero, failed to materialize. The efforts to convince the Chiongians to give way to Pacquiao obviously didn't work and Chiongbian filed his C-O-C on Tuesday night.

Prior to boarding his flight for Manila, Arum told www.insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports that he would “meet with Manny about a fight and then announce my new deal with ABS-CBN.”

The giant broadcast network which has significantly advanced its involvement in sports on television has kept boxing in the forefront alongside its telecast of major billiards events like the just-concluded World 10-Ball Championships won by Mika Immonen who beat Filipino Lee Van Corteza in the finals and the on-going inaugural World 10-Ball Mixed Doubles Classic where the top seeds are pool legend Efren “Bata” Reyes and Rubilen Amit, winner of the inaugural World Women’s 10-Ball Championships.

ABS-CBN is also well known for its coverage of the exciting UAAP and NCAA basketball tournaments and other sports events both on Studio 23 and its cable network Balls with its major boxing events also telecast on its pre-eminent Channel 2. Arum indicated a formal announcement of the ABS-CBN partnership will be made on Friday.

Top Rank fights were previously telecast by Solar Sports who will however continue to telecast the fights of Pacquiao who is under a long-term contract with Solar Entertainment.

Arum told us late Tuesday night that he was trying desperately to find out whether there was any candidate opposing Pacquiao but that he had learned some hours before leaving Las Vegas that indeed Chiongbian had filed and will contest the congressional seat Pacquiao is also eyeing.

Arum indicated that with this development Pacquiao would have to fight a lesser opponent in a planned March 13 event in the new billion-dollar stadium of the Dallas Cowboys in Texas while negotiations for a multi-million dollar super-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr will have to be held in abeyance with a possible fight date in September. He told us earlier "what's there to talk about" if Pacquiao is running for a seat in the House of Representatives in the May 2010 elections.

Arum and Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer met last week over lunch in Las Vegas and began initial talks on a possible Pacquiao-Mayweather fight after the Mayweather camp headed by chief adviser Leonard Ellerbe gave Schaefer the broad parameters for negotiations, Ellerbe himself didn’t wish to hamper the negotiations by his direct participation since he and Arum have had some differences in the past and he, Ellerbe, didn’t wish to be a stumbling block in the effort to get a fight deal done.

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