Pacquiao vs In Jin Chi?

12.01.07 - By Michael Marley, It's an Asian casino owner's dream fight. Promoter Bob Arum informed me that all indications are that Manny Pacquiao's opponent for April 28 in Macau at Steve Wynn's hotel-casino will be rugged Korean veteran and current WBC featherweight champion In Jin Chi.

The All-Asian brawl, matching the Filipino national idol and the Korean, will likely be seen in America on pay-per-view TV, the head of Top Rank said from his Las Vegas office. Arum said that he has "a good offer" in front of Chi's handlers in South Korea and that he expects an affirmative response soon. While Arum does not see any need for a U.S. press conference, he said he believes Pacman may go to Anaheim to watch "his buddy," the colorful Mexican Jorge Arce, fight Jan. 27..

"Steve Wynn is thrilled, of course," Arum said. "The Filipinos will come because Manila is only an hour and 15 minute flight away. The Koreans will come in to gamble, enjoy themselves and support their guy also. This will be a huge event for Wynn's property, a signature sports event. This is a marketing dream for Macau all the way around."

Arum said that southpaw slugger Pacman, five years younger than the Korean, also has a strong base of viewers in countries far away from the Philippines.

"The Filipino guest workers are all over the world. They are in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. They say there are six million of them. We're pushing to make it so they will all be able to watch their hero also."

Arum can vouch for Chi's toughness. The Korean has never been knocked out and he lost a unanimous decision to Erik Morales in Los Angeles in 2001 in an Arum promoted WBC featherweight championship bout.

In another matter, Arum is taking another of his occasional forays into the heavyweight division with his signing of 6-9 southpaw Tye Fields.

"Railroad Tye" has a list of awful opponents dotting his 37-1, 34 KOs record. They had to dig in a lot of cemeteries to get his victims and he swapped one round KOs in two bouts with Jeff "Big Diesel" Ford, that household name, in 2001.

Ford owns a sparkling 4-8 record now. But Arum is thinking, well thinking BIG with Fields.

"Trainer Jesse Reid has really improved the guy," Arum said. "I'm giving Tye a shot on a Jan. 25 show. Did you see the picture of us? The guy is a monster so maybe he is somebody who can wind up fighting the 7-2 Russian monster (Nickolay) Valuev."

Give Arum credit. He likes to keep himself entertained.

Article posted on 12.01.2007

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