Will the Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather fight finally happen–in Dubai?
That’s what United Arab Emirates promoter Prince Amir Shafipour is promising, saying he’s “dead serious” about bringing the pair to the Middle East for their long-awaited showdown.
Promoters in the U.S. and Philippines have so far been unable to put together a fight between Pacman and Money, arguably the two biggest draws in boxing today. But Shafipour says he can do it.
“I will honestly and truthfully tell you that if anyone can convince them to fight, and to fight in Dubai, I can,” the prince told Gulf News. “I have a lot of worldwide connections, with managers, promoters, fighters, people in the business, who speak the same language that Mayweather and Pacquiao are speaking.”
“You have to be on the same page as them and only then will you get their attention,” he added. “I am currently working with a major boxing promoter in the USA, who is connected to both the Pacquiao and Mayweather camps, and who has the capacity to help me pull this off. It’s not a boast, it’s a commitment.”
Shafipour, who Gulf News says is a three-time world champion in kick and Thai boxing, says the issues that arose last time a fight was close between the stars can be dealth with.
“Both of them know that the whole world wants to see them fight. And which fighter does not want to give what the world wants?” he said. “I know many people have failed to bring them to the ring, for many reasons, but I believe that we have the formula to make it happen. And then the whole boxing scene will explode.”
“We have shown fight fans in Dubai, the UAE, what we are capable of doing with the Global Fighting Championships,” he added. “We brought some of the best K-1 fighters to Dubai and they put on a terrific show for a million dirham bonus, in addition to the big appearance money they collected. This was just the start. This will culminate in the biggest fight ever, between Pacquiao and Mayweather.”
The GFC is a series of kick-boxing fights in Dubai, Turkey, Holland, and Morocco.
The winners of the championships are set to face-off in a final in Australia, with a $1 million grand prize.
Mayweather has said that he will fight next in September, while Pacquiao is targeting his next fight for November. Neither boxer has chosen an opponent yet.