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Pacquiao v Mayweather would be a 'dream come true' for Filipinos in the UAE.

Filipinoboxing fans say they are ecstatic at the prospect of boxing star Manny Pacquiao fighting Floyd Mayweather in the UAE in what would be a historic bout.

A consortium of AbuCeDhabi investors have said that they are willing to pay $200 million (Dhs735 million) to the sport's biggest stars if they fight each other for the first time ever in Abu Dhabi next year.

"It is a dream coming true in the boxing world, if it happens," said Maithlyn Bagunu, 41, a financial consultant living in Dubai.

"This is a much-awaited event and everybody has requested for it to happen."

Bagunu, who is president of the Filipino Community group, which is linked to the country's ConA[degrees]sulate General, added: "Perhaps we can arrange a big event to watch the match for those who cannot afford to attend."

There are an estimated 700,000 Filipinos working in the UAE and Pacquiao is a legend even among non-boxing fans.

Ibrahim Beltman, 45, a Filipino security manager who has lived in the UAECefor seven years, said some fans might pool cash among friends to allow some to witness the match first hand.

He said: "We will work to have the Filipino community there at the match."

Meanwhile, a statement issued on behalf of the investor group said the event is proposed for the first half of 2015 in Abu Dhabi.

"It will be Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates," said M Akbar Muhammad, a long-time boxing executive and one of the principals of the group.

Neither boxer has commented on the offer.

wafa.issa@7days.ae

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Dec 6, 2014
Words:279
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