Floyd Mayweather has previously been accused of ducking Manny Pacquaio but it seems the fight is finally set to be announced. Mike Stobe / Getty
Floyd Mayweather has previously been accused of ducking Manny Pacquaio but it seems the fight is finally set to be announced. Mike Stobe / Getty

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather mega-fight to be sealed in ‘next couple of days’



Manny Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum reportedly is optimistic a mega-fight deal between the Filipino icon and unbeaten US fighter Floyd Mayweather will be made in the next couple of days.

The New York Post reported Friday that Arum is down to negotiating the final details of a contract for the much-awaited welterweight showdown tentatively penned in for May 2 in Las Vegas.

“The issues are being narrowed down to extraordinarily small points,” Arum told the newspaper. “I’m optimistic it will all be put together in the next couple of days.”

Mayweather said he would not fight Pacquiao as long as Arum was his promoter after a dispute many years ago.

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“Everybody is doing the right thing,” Arum told the Post on Friday. “We’re looking to complete the paperwork. Everything is moving in the right direction. Hopefully, the next couple of days it will get done.”

The report said network issues are all that remain to be sorted.

Mayweather has a contract with Showtime while Pacquiao has a deal with HBO, but both stand to gain by coming together for Mayweather-Pacquiao bout that could approach $300 million.

The last time such a deal was made between the telecast rivals, it produced a Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis matchup in 2002.

Pacquiao has been calling out Mayweather for months, his latest comment last week on Twitter being, “I can easily beat Floyd Mayweather, I believe that.”

After meeting at a Miami Heat game, Mayweather and Pacquiao spent an hour in the Asian star’s hotel suite talking about the possibility of meeting in the ring, Arum said.

“I think it helped a lot because we were all putting papers together, and there was still a question as to whether Floyd really wanted to do the fight or not,” Arum said. “Based on the meeting with Pacquiao in the hotel suite, Manny and (Pacquiao adviser) Michael Koncz were convinced Floyd absolutely wants to do the fight.”

Filipino southpaw Pacquiao, 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts, has won three fights in a row since being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his fourth bout against the Mexican. “Pac-Man”, who is 36, won a unanimous decision over Chris Aligieri in Macao last November in his most recent fight.

Mayweather, 47-0 with 26 knockouts, turns 38 next month and has two more fights in the rich Showtime deal that has made him the highest-paid athlete in the world. Should he win them both, Mayweather would match the iconic 49-0 record of 1950s legend Rocky Marciano, who retired as an undefeated heavyweight champion.

Mayweather is coming off a unanimous decision over Argentine fighter Marcos Maidana last September in a rematch of a bout last May that Mayweathwer won by majority decision.

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Mercer, the investment consulting arm of US services company Marsh & McLennan, expects its wealth division to at least double its assets under management (AUM) in the Middle East as wealth in the region continues to grow despite economic headwinds, a company official said.

Mercer Wealth, which globally has $160 billion in AUM, plans to boost its AUM in the region to $2-$3bn in the next 2-3 years from the present $1bn, said Yasir AbuShaban, a Dubai-based principal with Mercer Wealth.

Within the next two to three years, we are looking at reaching $2 to $3 billion as a conservative estimate and we do see an opportunity to do so,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Mercer does not directly make investments, but allocates clients’ money they have discretion to, to professional asset managers. They also provide advice to clients.

“We have buying power. We can negotiate on their (client’s) behalf with asset managers to provide them lower fees than they otherwise would have to get on their own,” he added.

Mercer Wealth’s clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, and insurance companies among others.

From its office in Dubai, Mercer also looks after Africa, India and Turkey, where they also see opportunity for growth.

Wealth creation in Middle East and Africa (MEA) grew 8.5 per cent to $8.1 trillion last year from $7.5tn in 2015, higher than last year’s global average of 6 per cent and the second-highest growth in a region after Asia-Pacific which grew 9.9 per cent, according to consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG). In the region, where wealth grew just 1.9 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, a pickup in oil prices has helped in wealth generation.

BCG is forecasting MEA wealth will rise to $12tn by 2021, growing at an annual average of 8 per cent.

Drivers of wealth generation in the region will be split evenly between new wealth creation and growth of performance of existing assets, according to BCG.

Another general trend in the region is clients’ looking for a comprehensive approach to investing, according to Mr AbuShaban.

“Institutional investors or some of the families are seeing a slowdown in the available capital they have to invest and in that sense they are looking at optimizing the way they manage their portfolios and making sure they are not investing haphazardly and different parts of their investment are working together,” said Mr AbuShaban.

Some clients also have a higher appetite for risk, given the low interest-rate environment that does not provide enough yield for some institutional investors. These clients are keen to invest in illiquid assets, such as private equity and infrastructure.

“What we have seen is a desire for higher returns in what has been a low-return environment specifically in various fixed income or bonds,” he said.

“In this environment, we have seen a de facto increase in the risk that clients are taking in things like illiquid investments, private equity investments, infrastructure and private debt, those kind of investments were higher illiquidity results in incrementally higher returns.”

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, one of the largest sovereign wealth funds, said in its 2016 report that has gradually increased its exposure in direct private equity and private credit transactions, mainly in Asian markets and especially in China and India. The authority’s private equity department focused on structured equities owing to “their defensive characteristics.”


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