MANILA, JANUARY 21, 2012 (PHILSTAR) By Abac Cordero - Bob Arum has practically pulled the plug on Manny Pacquiao holding a tune-up fight in April.

The chief of Top Rank Promotions can’t seem to find the right place and the right time for Pacquiao’s comeback fight following his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last Dec. 8.

The ageless boxing promoter was asked yesterday morning if April is a go for the 34-year-old Filipino congressman. His reply was short and simple.

“No,” was Arum’s text message to The STAR.

But Pacquiao’s chief adviser, Mike Koncz, said they’re “still working it out” for Pacquiao to see action in April before he faces Marquez for a fifth time in September.

“April remains our date,” Koncz said in a separate phone interview.

However, it’s easier to believe what Arum said. There’s no available venue for a Pacquiao fight either on April 13 or April 20.

There’s no date in Macau and very little interest from Singapore, and no commitment as of yet from the people from Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Arum has also ruled out Manila as the venue.

Instead, fight fans will get to see reigning WBO super-bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. take on WBA champ Guillermo Rigondeaux in Las Vegas on April 27.

Arum has ruled out a Pacquiao fight in the United States because of tax reasons. It was reported that income taxes for high-earners in the US has risen from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.

This means that whatever Pacquiao earns if he fights in the US, forty percent goes to taxes. Taxes will definitely be lower if he fights somewhere else.

Arum said if Pacquiao agrees to put his plans on hold, the former pound-for-pound champion can take a full rest and focus his attention to the Philippine elections in May.

Pacquiao is running unopposed as congressman in Sarangani. But it doesn’t mean there’s no work to do because his wife, Jinkee, is eyeing the post of vice governor in the province.

Pacquiao’s younger brother, Roel, is also seeking a congressional seat in General Santos City.

After the elections in May, Pacquiao can train for the Marquez fight for four months if he wants to.

At the same time, Arum will have all the time he needs to hype the fifth fight. If it happens in September, it’s not going to be in the US either.

“(Top Rank president) Todd [duBoeuf] was over in Macau and we can’t get a date with the arena… Singapore is not an option and I don’t think we go to for Manila for the fight, so I think they’re going to have to wait till September,” Arum told

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said April it’s “way too soon” for his fighter to return to the ring after the brutal knockout he suffered more than a month ago.

“September is the soonest on my mind,” said Roach.

Lewis to Manny: Learn from loss By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 20, 2013 - 12:00am


MANILA, Philippines - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis rebounded from a shock knockout loss to Hasim Rahman in 2001 to dispose of his tormentor in a rematch seven months later and in an encouraging note to Manny Pacquiao, recently said “gladiators need setbacks because when you come back from them, it shows how great you are.”

Lewis, 47, suffered a fate similar to Pacquiao who was flattened by Juan Manuel Marquez with a single counter right hand in the sixth round in Las Vegas last December. Lewis, defending his WBC/IBF/IBO heavyweight titles, didn’t take Rahman seriously and was knocked out by a single right hand in the fifth round at Carnival City, South Africa, in 2001. He didn’t train properly for the fight and even took in a movie job a week before to show his lack of respect for the challenger.

But in a rematch, Lewis was determined to regain lost pride. He was all business from training camp to fight night and in the fourth round, caught Rahman with a brutal left-right combination. Rahman went down for good as Lewis gained his revenge.

“Lewis believed too much in his own press and even spent time on a movie set a week before the fight in Johannesburg,” wrote David Hudson Jr. and Mike Fitzgerald Jr. in the book “Boxing’s Most Wanted.” “Lewis appeared to be slowly seizing control of the action but in the fifth round, Rahman landed a right hand and Lewis fell like a sack of potatoes and could not beat the count. To his credit, Lewis kayoed Rahman in a rematch with an equally devastating punch.”

Pacquiao could learn from Lewis’s experience. Like Lewis, he was knocked out in a fight he should’ve won and like Lewis, hopes to come back with a vengeful victory over Marquez to extend their riyalry into a quintology. No less than Lewis himself said Pacquiao can come back.

“A loss can make you look at yourself in a way that victory cannot,” said Lewis who in 2005, was tapped as an expert witness by lawyer Judd Burstein in Pacquiao’s suit against New Jersey promoter Murad Muhammad. “It gives you a feeling that inspires you to be better. Manny can come back from his loss to Marquez. Prior to that split second when he lost concentration, he was in control and was looking to press his advantage. But he was off balance and he wasn’t aware of where Marquez was. If you don’t know where your opponent is, they can punish you.”

Lewis recalled his own harrowing loss to Rahman. “I made that mistake against Rahman,” said Lewis in a guest column in the London trade weekly magazine Boxing News. “As soon as Marquez landed that punch on Pacquiao, it made me think back to my fight against Rahman. Nobody thinks it’s possible and then it happens. Wow! What a shocking moment. When I realized what had happened, I was so angry with myself. I knew that if I had trained properly, he would have had no chance, even if he was at his absolute best. I knew that straight away and that shaped my mind for revenge.”

Lewis wouldn’t be denied his reprisal. At the age of 36, he knocked out Rahman at 1:29 of the fourth round in Las Vegas. Lewis would fight only twice more, halting Mike Tyson in eight in 2002 and stopping Vitali Klitschko in six a year later. He was 38 when he fought his last against Klitschko. Pacquiao is 34 and if he battles Marquez in a fifth fight in September, the Mexican will be 40 by then.

Lewis said a positive attitude will put Pacquiao back on track. “It depends how Pacquiao reacts to the loss,” he continued. “Is he a broken man? Or is he a man who can admit he made a mistake in the ring and build on that? I said to myself almost immediately (after losing to Rahman), ‘I’ll get him next time, I will not make that mistake again.’”

Recovering from a knockout loss to reverse the outcome isn’t an impossible dream. World heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson was floored seven times in bowing to Ingemar Johansson on a third round knockout in New York in 1959 then stormed back to halt the Swede in a return bout a year later and scored another stoppage in the rubber match. Lewis exacted revenge on Rahman and Pacquiao could do the same to Marquez.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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