by Nick Giongco
Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum has already placed the pillars on two major shows being headlined by Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire towards the end of the year.
Speaking from New York, where the Top Rank big boss will preside over the world middleweight title clash between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden this weekend, Arum told the Bulletin yesterday that Macau will be the site of Pacquiao’s Nov. 23 (Nov. 22 in the US) ring return.
As for Donaire, the 82-year-old Arum bared that his next fight in “October or November will be in the US” as his recent win over Simpiwe Vetyeka of South Africa in Macau generated high TV ratings.
“The telecast wasn’t even live (in the US) and it got high TV ratings,” said an ecstatic Arum from the Big Apple.
Owing to Donaire’s growing fanbase, Arum said HBO wants the Fil-Am puncher to headline a show in the US.
Now that the 31-year-old Donaire has earned HBO’s respect and admiration, Arum believes it would make no sense in putting him underneath a Pacquiao card since the fighting congressman alone can ring up the cash register.
Arum had met with the bigwigs of The Venetian last week and discussed Pacquiao’s proposed second fight in the former Portuguese colony. The first time Pacquiao fought there last year against Brandon Rios, the fans came in droves and the casino executives were very pleased with Pacquiao’s drawing power.
Arum said the identity of Pacquiao’s foe would be known by the end of the month as Pacquiao has started to go over a short list of fighters being groomed to become his dancing partner.
Pacquiao’s possible opponents include Mexican nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, while Donaire’s list has Nicholas Walters of Jamaica (24-0 with 20 KOs) and Evgeny Gradovich of Russia (19-0 with nine KOs) although not being ruled out is a rematch with Vetyeka (26-3 with 16 KOs).
Pacquiao and Donaire have recently extended their respective promotional contract with Arum.