Future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao has spoken to WBN in the wake of Vasyl Lomachenko’s superb victory over Jorge Linares on Saturday night.
As the Filipino Senator prepares to take on Lucas Matthysse in a comeback fight this summer, Pacquiao has been the subject of constant speculation regarding a possible clash with Top Rank promoted ‘Loma’ this year.
Asked whether he’d be willing to accept the fight, potentially on American soil and whether he could attempt to boil down to the 135 pound limit for the first time in a decade, Pacquiao was optimistic the contest could happen.
“Yes, of course, we are interest in that fight,” Pacquiao exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Vasyl Lomachenko just beat Jorge Linares and he has the lightweight belt now (which means we can fight for a title).
“Why not fight again in America? I have always been a fighter. If a good fight can be made anywhere, we will be there to accept this fight.
On the weight stipulation, he added: “I could take a fight with Lomachenko at 135, but that would be pushing me to my limits."
Lomachnenko is now undoubtably the number one fighter on the planet, a position Pacquiao last held in November 2016 when claiming yet another world title against Jessie Vargas to top the pound for pound ratings.
A shock loss to Jeff Horn, which has since been hotly debated, pushed Pacquiao out of the picture for massive fights over the last twelve months, whilst a win over Matthysse would bring the ‘Pacman’ closer to the likes of Terence Crawford and Lomachenko himself.
The fans seem to be on board with a Pacquiao v Lomachenko encounter in 2018, something Top Rank legend Bob Arum has stated on more than one occasion he’s willing to make at a catchweight.
Facing each other at 140 pounds would effectively leave any title belts off the table, although Lomachenko could challenge for the WBA ‘regular’ welterweight title under the current state of play.
If Pacquiao can dethrone Matthysse, there’s nothing in the WBA rules to suggest the eight-weight ruler couldn’t agree to meet Lomachenko to defend his title at any weight under the 147 pound limit.
More will be revealed once Pacquiao completes his clash with Matthysse and Lomachenko makes his own return to action in August – potentially against stablemate and fellow champion Ray Beltran.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay