Manny Pacquiao: Hong Kong emerges as potential venue for first title defense

📸 Wendell Alinea

Asia seems to be the leading candidate to host Manny Pacquiao’s ring return, the South China Morning Post reported recently.

Quoting Arnold Vegafria, Pacquiao’s business manager for entertainment, the Middle East, a Southeast Asian City, and even Hong Kong, could end up hosting the Filipino great’s next fight following his emphatic win over Lucas Matthysse of Argentina last July 15 in Kuala Lumpur.

The former Crown Colony is home to thousands of Filipinos and is less than two hours by air from Manila, making it a prime destination in the event it stages a Pacquiao fight.

“Why not? Hong Kong is part of China and we are trying to promote boxing in China. And we’ve been to Macau in the past so it’s possible,” said Vegafria as quoted by the SCMP.

Still, the venue of Pacquiao remains up in the air as the US is also on Pacquiao’s radar screen as he hasn’t fought there since late-2016.

“We are still looking around. We want to fight in the Middle East, we also want to fight in Southeast Asia but we want to have it in Asia,” said Vegafria, who played a key role in Pacquiao’s appearance in Malaysia.

With Asia being floated as a possible site, London is also on the horizon most especially if a fight with British pride Amir Khan can be arranged.

Pacquiao and Khan used to fight under one trainer—Freddie Roach—but have both expressed willingness to face each other in an actual bout other than their usual sparring sessions.