Can Sen. Pacquiao outfox the sly Bob Arum?
After the Blunder in Brisbane, legendary Manny Pacquiao, beaten, bloodied, bewildered, cried out he had been set-up.
He did not single out the culprit. But Pacquiao obviously meant veteran promoter Bob Arum.
Arum would coolly shrug off indirect accusations.
Last heard of, Arum was planning to visit Manila to sit down with Pacquiao and discuss the rematch clause in the Battle of Brisbane that saw Australian Jeff Horn taking away Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) world welterweight crown.
The rematch, scheduled in Brisbane for Nov. 12, as previously agreed upon by both parties, has also turned into what could resemble an off-ring chess tussle. Succeeding signals were quite mixed.
An initial report by the Agence France Presse said Pacquiao has decided to withdraw from the rematch. That was on Sunday.
The following day, AFP said Pacquiao was not actually withdrawing, but has instead invited Horn to do the rematch in the Philippines.
Another report said Pacquiao has decided to stage the rematch through the Manny Pacquiao Promotions at the vast Philippine Arena in Bulacan, possibly in December.
Anyway, before Pacquiao could announce the planned rematch in Manila, he was repeatedly taunted in Australia for allegedly playing scared.
The Manila rematch will be a sure knockout, and will also cost an astounding killer amount of dollars.
Not to worry. Pacquiao claims he has the momentum, stating solid financial support from the tourism department, lots of friends and, last but definitely not the least, President Duterte, his friend and political ally.
It was not clear if Pacquiao still has a live contract with Top Rank Promotions.
Pacquiao had claimed his July 2 fight in Brisbane was his last under Bob Arum.
Meanwhile, Horn announced he would be ready and willing to take on Jessie Vargas, in place of Pacquiao, for the scheduled big bout in Brisbane. Vargas used to own Horn’s WBO crown.
Horn said Vargas would be a strong and very worthy foe. He also expressed displeasure at Pacquiao’s rude pullout.
Minus Horn, what big bout does Pacquiao hope to stage in the Philippines?
“That’s what happens at the top of the game, guys mess around you a lot,” Horn cried.
He refused to say if he was hitting back at Pacquiao by taking on a new opponent.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.