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Arum–a quick trip from fantasy to reality

/ 05:10 AM June 12, 2020

When not fantasizing about himself walking the corridors of power with his former fair-haired boy Manny Pacquiao after the fighting senator is elected president of the Philippines, Bob Arum has more true-to-life goals in mind.

Like promoting a third Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder heavyweight fight, or targeting a unification bout with his boxer Terence Crawford and the Filipino ring icon.

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Pacquiao is not thinking about hanging up his gloves yet. Coincidentally, he is already eyeing a match with Crawford this year.

Arum told World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman that prizefighting’s only eight-division world champ will run and win the presidential polls in 2022 and become the first boxer ever to lead a nation.

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“I did a Zoom telephone call with him and he (Pacquiao) said ‘Bob, I’m gonna run in 2022 and when I win, I want you there at my inauguration,’” according to the 88-year old doyen of boxing blockbusters.

Pacquiao, through the lips of Arum and legendary trainer Freddie Roach, had implied all along that he planned to keep boxing until he reached or surpassed the required age of 40 to run for president.

Now 41, the popular Pacquiao believes he can win in a country of 110 million where the cult of personality trumps experience, education and qualification to govern as chief executive.

Meanwhile, back to reality quickly, Arum said on Tuesday Fury-Wilder III could be held in Australia or New Zealand.

Arum leaked a projected bout at Bankwest Stadium in Western Sydney before Kiwi rugby great Dean Lonergan reportedly told him New Zealand “is opening up for sporting events with full spectator attendance” likely in November or December.

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From an average of over P100 million a month, the national sports development fund from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) dwindled to P9 million in May.

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The severe cut compelled the PSC to reduce monthly allowances of national athletes in half, with assurances that the stipends will be restored in full once Pagcor operations go full blast again.

With the closure of land-based casinos and other gambling establishments due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Pagcor was reported to have lost P5-6 billion a month on average.

But the question left unanswered by chair Andrea Domingo is why for the past 28 years or so, Pagcor continues to shell out only 2.5 percent, not five percent, of its gross income to the PSC as mandated by Republic Act No. 6847.

Weightlifting chief and former PSC Chair Monico Puentevella said ex-President Fidel Ramos requested to slash Pagcor’s full 5-percent allocation to the PSC in half but forgot to return the original amount when he left office “and everyone to this day had done the same.”

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TAGS: Bob Arum, Boxing, Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford
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