LONDON (AP) – It could be the Duel in Doha.
Preparing to host the 2022 World Cup, Qatar is now looking to attract big-name boxing.
Promoter Bob Arum has been in talks with Qatari officials about bringing a welterweight unification bout between Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford to the energy-rich Gulf nation. The coronavirus pandemic prevented it from taking place this weekend but the Top Rank CEO hopes it goes ahead there next year.
“We had closed the deal,” Arum, who represents Crawford, told The Associated Press. “They were very good people, big government people, and then the minister of health said, ‘I’m not going to approve spectators at the fight.’”
No fans means millions of dollars in lost revenue. Instead Crawford, the undefeated WBO welterweight champion, will fight Kell Brook, the former IBF welterweight title holder, in a lower-profile bout Saturday in Las Vegas.
“If Terence is successful in this fight, I will then go back to them