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Arum likes Dubai as venue for Khan vs Pacquiao in 2016



Akbar Productions LLC drawing up plans for HBO event in November this year


From 24/7



Pacquiao (left) and Amir Khan square up following their get-together at the Fitzroy Lodge boxing club in London. (Photo courtesy Facebook)

Dubai has been endorsed as the ideal venue for another potential mega fight between Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquaio and British star Amir Khan by boxing promoter Bob Arum.

"I just had a delegation in from Dubai trying to talk to me about a Manny Pacquiao fight some time early next year in Dubai," Arum said speaking to the Telegraph. "That would be interesting.

"One of the names they suggested as an opponent is Amir Khan. That would be a possibility. We'll have to see. I would think that Manny, if everything goes right with the surgery, would look to be back in early 2016, maybe in Dubai. I don't want to rush him.

"Apparently there's great interest from Dubai in doing big-time boxing there. With the Emirate airline making regular flights from the UK to Dubai, it's a great place for British fight fans to watch a fight."

M Akbar Muhammad, president of Akbar Productions LLC based in New Jersey, USA, a close aide of Arum, held talks with senior officials in the UAE to drum up interest to hold big fights in the UAE at least twice a year.

In fact, he watched the Mayweather-Pacquaio 'Fight of the Century' in Dubai and later disclosed during an interview with Emirates 24|7 that they were drawing up plans for an HBO event in November and Pacquaio-Khan bout next year.

“Pacquiao is locked in to fight definitely against a world class opponent. I’d rather have Khan with Pacquiao in March," said Akbar, a former vice-president of Arum's Top Rank.

The Mayweather-Pacquaio blockbuster which generated over $500 million has revived interest for boxing not least from Middle Eastern backers with Pacquiao seeing his stock rise despite losing a unanimous points decision.

“Khan will make more money fighting Pacquiao than he would Mayweather. But I have an agreement with Arum, Pacquiao’s next fight is here,” said Akbar during the interview in Dubai.

Arum has not ruled out the possibility of a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch while Khan who is scheduled to fight Chris Algieri on May 29 wants to be the unbeaten American's next opponent.

"Nobody has ever seen numbers like we did on this last fight (Mayweather-Pacquiao). The people from Dubai today were astounded. Every restaurant, every club, every cinema in Dubai was packed with people watching the event," Arum told The Telegraph.

"The worldwide attention on this fight was tremendous. As the gentleman from Dubai said, it was Manny Pacquiao who was the star. He was the guy people were interested in watching, not particularly Floyd Mayweather. At least outside the United States. It was a great, great event, it had elevated the sport of boxing because of the attention it received and, who knows, maybe we'll do it again," he added.

Pacquiao is currently recuperating after undergoing surgery in his right shoulder.


Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao poses for photo after a press conference shortly after arriving from the US at the international airport in Manila on May 13, 2015. (AFP)