DOT hopes Pacquiao can stage fight in PH to boost sports tourism
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Tourism expressed strong hopes that Senator Manny Pacquiao could stage one of his boxing fights in the Philippines in a bid to boost sports tourism in the country.
In a press release sent Tuesday, October 11, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo noted Cebu City as a potential location with Pacquiao's rivals Floyd Mayweather Jr and Jose Manuel Marquez welcome in Philippine shores.
"Senator Pacquiao no doubt can help us score a knockout victory in terms of international visitor arrival if he were to fight in the Philippines. Imagine how the world stops to watch it against the backdrop of, let’s say Cebu City," Teo was quoted in the release.
Teo said the DOT is looking at a "potential visitor market" for sporting events like boxing fights and hopes "boxing promoters can make it happen."
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 knockouts) hasn’t fought in the Philippines since 2006, when he outpointed Oscar Larios at Araneta Coliseum. Pacquiao has expressed interest in fighting in the Philippines again, with his promoter Bob Arum saying prior to his 2015 mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr that he wanted to stage Pacquiao's farewell fight in the Philippines some day.
“We could maybe let the people in for free, or give the proceeds to charity and have the fight run on free HBO," said Arum.
The country is expected to get a major tourism upswing with the Miss Universe pageant on January 30, 2017 to be held in the Philippines for the first time in two decades.
Pacquiao is slated for a fight on November 5 against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas. – Rappler.com