MANILA, Philippines—There’s no formal offer yet, but Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson confirmed on Monday Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s interest in hosting a fight between Manny Pacquiao and a local star next year to the tune of $65 million.
And if exploratory talks go well, Pacquiao’s venerable promoter Bob Arum would be the first to know, according to Singson.
“We will not negotiate without informing Arum,” Singson, a longtime confidante of Pacquiao, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer over the phone.
Singson said Arum called him up Monday morning to check about the report that came out in the Inquirer Monday, and that he was able to clear the matter with the Hall of Fame promoter.
Arum, in fact, according to Michael Marley of Examiner.com on Sunday, is receptive to what could be Pacquiao’s biggest and most lucrative fight yet.
“Well, they are talking about next year,” Arum told Marley. “Manny has the key third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez coming up on Nov. 12 and then we can discuss 2012.
“I don’t know when Manny will want to fight next year, whether we stick to May and November, because that’s up to Manny and his schedule, what he wants to do.”
Singson also confirmed many other feelers, including a similar $65-million offer from a Singapore group for Pacquiao to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr., and that they’re being considered like the Slim proposal, which was relayed to him by the Mexican ambassador to the country.
“It’s not going to be the highest bidder,” said Singson. “While there are so many bidders owing to Manny’s popularity, we also don’t want the promoters to lose money because of outrageous purses.”
Under the proposal of Slim, the world’s richest man in 2010 with a net worth of $53.5 billion, he will guarantee Pacquiao’s purse and will have the option to pick his foe.