DAVAO CITY— As Manny Pacquiao enters the last phase of a legendary career, plans are afoot for the staging of one of his farewell fights here possibly in 2016.
Pacquiao is under contract with Top Rank but former North Cotabato Gov. Manny Pinol, who promoted Pacquiao’s world title defense here 14 years ago, said he has broached the idea with Pacquiao himself.
Pinol said on Saturday that Pacquiao was receptive and importing the fighting congressman can be done with the financial backing by spiritual leader Apollo Quiboloy, who is building a multi-purpose venue here that can accommodate about 70,000.
Pacquiao is scheduled to return to the ring on Nov. 23 against Chris Algieri in Macau and if he keeps on winning until his contract lapses with Bob Arum’s promotional outfit, he will be ready to pay back to his countrymen by fighting on local soil.
The last time Pacquiao fought in the country was in July 2006 when he beat Oscar Larios at the Araneta Coliseum.
Since then, Pacquiao has brought his act mainly to the US, having seen action in Las Vegas, San Antonio and Dallas and likewise in Macau.
“Manny likes the idea,” said Pinol, who is lending a hand to Saturday night’s slugfest that is being bankrolled by Quiboloy’s Sonshine Sports Management.
Pacquiao, 35, has properties here, including a boxing gym where top professionals and amateurs go to train.
Pinol said big name fighters are being eyed to become Pacquiao’s dancing partner in the proposed fight in 2016.