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13 April 2024

Dubai fancied for Pacquiao-Mayweather bout

UAE's Eisa Al Dah wants to become a world champion in two years time. (PATRICK CASTILLO)

By Allaam Ousman

As a potential mega showdown in Dubai between Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao and the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr gains currency, UAE’s only professional boxer Eisa Al Dah dreams of featuring on the undercard.

Dubai has been promoted as the ideal venue by Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach with May 5, the date picked by Mayweather, remaining a possibility.

However, Pacquiao and his promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank believe a late May or June 9 fight date would be the best.

Although Mayweather indicated he wanted the fight to be held in Las Vegas, Roach was quoted as saying: “Dallas would be the best place to put on that fight in the US, because you could get 100,000 people in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, but Dubai is the best, money-wise.”

Roach also revealed: “There were negotiations with people from Dubai. I met with a group of people, who were negotiating with Pacquiao’s financial adviser Michael Koncz.”

American kickboxer and former MMA fighter Bob ‘The Beast’ Sapp also endorsed Dubai as an idyllic destination to stage this fight.

“Absolutely Dubai is one of the countries where everyone gets excited. It’s the same thing with Philippines. I think it’s more of a complete mix of everyone (in Dubai). In America there are some Pacquiao fans, some Mayweather fans. You don’t have same mysticism or excitement when you are dealing with Asia,” said Sapp here to contest in the Dubai International Boxing Championship to be held at Aviation Stadium on February 2.

“It will be a historic event. It will benefit the hotel and travel industry. I remember when Mike Tyson fought a long time ago, Las Vegas was sold out,” said Al Dah.

UAE’s ‘Arabian Warrior’ Al Dah said staging a title bout of this magnitude would be a sellout.

Promoters of the Dubai championships EMD Services hinted that Eisa Al Dah is the one who could tilt the scales in bringing the world title bout to Dubai because of his connections with Pacquiao’s trainer Roach.

Al Dah even suggested a possible venue for the bout.

“I love to bring him over to the Hamdan (bin Mohammed) complex. This is an amazing complex in Dubai. Definitely I will be on this card and this will make my name international. This is my dream,” said Al Dah who has reduced to feather weight for the upcoming bout and wants to become a world champion within the next two years.

Al Dah’s models himself on British champion Amir Khan with whom counsels regularly.

“I have a good relationship with Amir Khan training with him in the US and UK. I always seek his advice because he has experience.
He visits me sometimes in Dubai and I go the UK,” said Al Dah who has had the good fortune of coming under Khan’s trainer Roach but has never met Pacquiao.

Ring magazine’s pound-for-king Pacquiao fighting in Dubai would generate tremendous interest among the Filipino expatriate community not only in the UAE but also the entire Gulf region.

“Filipinos in the UAE are excited and optimistic. Pacquiao will definitely get the support of more than 500,000 Filipinos in the Emirates,” Alan Bacason, president of the Filipino community in Dubai and the Northern Emirates was reported as saying.

The latest from Floyd Mayweather Jr. is that he wants Pacquiao on May 5 – this year.

“I’m ready to fight Pacquiao 5/5/12,” Mayweather said in his Twitter account.

He’s begging for the fight against the Filipino sporting icon.

“First they say I am ducking the fight. But now it seems like I’m begging for the fight. What’s going on?” Mayweather added in his tweets.

Mayweather and Pacquiao have both expressed their intention to stage the fight that the whole world wants to see.

The problem, however, lies in the date and the place the fight should take place.

Dubai could be the venue for the fight of the decade.