• Welterweight

Pacquiao not applied for Vegas licence

ESPN staff
February 8, 2013
Manny Pacquiao last fought in the Philippines in 2006 © Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao has not yet submitted an application to fight in Las Vegas once his 120-day ban comes to an end in March, furthering speculation that his next bout will be outside the US.

The Filipino is looking at various locations for his return and has received one unofficial offer from Dubai in the region of $10 million.

Pacquiao has fought his last four fights in Las Vegas and his last 12 in America but a 4.6% tax rise means almost 40% of his fight purse will be taken by the US government.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) banned Pacquiao after he was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth-round of their fourth fight in December. Pacquiao's promoters Top Rank have not promised a rematch between the two but have said the Filipino multi-weight world champion will be back in action in September at the latest.

A warm-up fight in April has also commanded column inches, but the only likelihood about Pacquiao's schedule is that Las Vegas is off the cards.

"We haven't received any application for 2013," NSAC executive director Keith Kizer is quoted as saying by abs-cbnnews.com.

Top Rank chief Bob Arum said: "He [Pacquiao] says that he doesn't want to fight in the United States because of the high taxes which I can hardly blame him and you know Marquez faces the same high taxes. The administration didn't help raising the tax rates from 35% to 39.6%. You know, there's a limit to what these guys wanna pay, you know, that's almost 40% of his purse going for taxes, that's a lot."

If Pacquiao v Marquez V does take place outside of the US, then Mexico and Singapore are possible destinations as is China, where Pacquiao is reportedly more popular than Floyd Mayweather Jr.

"In China they never heard of Mayweather, so they heard of Pacquiao they love Pacquiao. Apparently they're not much interested in Mayweather," Arum added.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.