It's coming later than usual, but Las Vegas' first big boxing event of the year is set for May 2 between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.
The venue remains undecided. The MGM Grand is interested in hosting the fight, as is Planet Hollywood owner Robert Earl, who is teaming with Steve Wynn in a bid to have their properties co-host the bout.
If the MGM lands Pacquiao-Hatton, it would be at the hotel's 16,270-seat Grand Garden Arena. If Planet Hollywood and Wynn are selected, the 18,500-seat Thomas & Mack Center would be the venue.
The fight is expected to air on pay per view on either HBO or Showtime and will be co-promoted by Top Rank, which handles Pacquiao, and Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Hatton.
"We might know something by Friday if the properties get their latest proposals to us," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said Wednesday. "Both fighters' fans love to come here, and May 2 was a perfect date with Cinco de Mayo weekend and the Kentucky Derby."
Hatton's Ring Magazine and IBO 140-pound junior middleweight titles will be at stake. Pacquiao, who fought successfully at 130, 135 and 147 pounds in 2008, never has fought at 140.
Richard Sturm, MGM president of entertainment and sports, said his hotel is serious about landing the fight.
''We feel it's an excellent event to host," Sturm said. "We're trying to get a deal that works for both sides."
A Planet Hollywood spokesperson confirmed that Earl is trying to bring the fight to his property but declined further comment.
Both fighters are coming off impressive wins at the MGM Grand. Pacquiao (48-3-2) routed Oscar De La Hoya on Dec. 6 at 147 pounds, scoring a technical knockout when De La Hoya quit before the start of the ninth round. Hatton (45-1) dominated Paulie Malignaggi in an 11th-round technical knockout win Nov. 22.
Edited by daco_inc, January 23, 2009 - 12:30 AM.