According to Arum, this may not be possible due to the inability of Filipinos to pay for high-priced gate tickets. He also said that moneyed foreign fans who might want to watch the fight would also be discouraged by the extended trip to Manila.
“We would like to believe that professional boxing is not just about money. That it is also about the sport. And in this case, it is also about Manny giving his country a much-needed lift,” said Ty, a long-time sports patron.
Ty said that a Pacquiao bout in Manila, will not only spotlight the Philippines as a global tourist destination but also as a retirement haven and investment hub.
According to the lawmaker, the Philippines has more than enough large corporations that would be willing to help sponsor Pacquiao’s bout here.
“Apart from this, our Department of Tourism will surely spend some of its promotional budget to help draw in foreign visitors who might be interested in watching the fight,” Ty said.
Higher pay-per-view TV service revenues, due to the inability of some US-based fans to watch the fight in person, could also compensate for any potential slump in gate receipts, adds Ty.
“In fact, many Western singers, bands and other artists make it a point to include Manila in their concert tours because hordes of Filipino fans are willing to shell out large sums to just to patronize their stars,” Ty pointed out.
Ty also said many non-Filipino Asian fans would likely travel to Manila just to watch Pacquiao fight, if a bout was held here.
“Even well-off Filipinos in America, Australia and elsewhere might just use a (Pacquiao) fight here to revisit Manila,” he added.
Ty believes that Pacquiao is willing to hold a fight here but that Pacquiao’s promoters, who are driven by financial rewards, don’t want to consider that idea.
“Mr. Arum is underestimating the capacity of Filipinos to go out of their way to pay for expensive tickets just to see their idol fight. We Filipinos can be very passionate fans,” he said.