Manny Pacquiao: Lucas Matthysse emerges as frontrunner for June 23
Manny Pacquiao is set to fight in Malaysia this summer after turning down a clash with Mike Alvarado in April.
The veteran boxing legend was offered the chance to share a bill with recent foe Jeff Horn on April 14, a fighter who scored a highly controversial points win over Pacquiao in Brisbane last year.
Aquiles Zonio, acting on behalf of Pacquiao in an interview with ESPN, recently revealed the reason behind the contest being rejected.
“He’s (Pacquiao) not fighting Alvarado. He rejected Bob Arum’s offer to fight (on the) undercard of the Crawford-Horn fight,” Zonio explained bluntly.
“It’s an insult to him. The world knew who won that dirty fight in Brisbane. It was the biggest broad daylight boxing heist.”
Pacquiao himself has now informed Philippine TV station ABS-CBN he will look to entertain his fellow Asian fans in a June blockbuster.
“Definitely, Malaysia is where we will fight. Maybe the third week of June, so the preparation will not conflict with my work (as a Senator),” said Pacquiao, before answering the question of why Malaysia with: “because those in Malaysia appealed to also have a fight there.”
As WBN pointed out on Tuesday, champion opponents are currently in short supply for the ‘Pacman’ as Keith Thurman already has a date in place in the United States, whilst Errol Spence faces Carlos Ocampo on June 16.
Horn is obviously tied to a defense against Terence Crawford, whilst the only real option would be to challenge Lucas Matthysse for the WBA ‘regular’ title.
The Argentinian has now been targetted by Pacquiao, who also confirmed the planned date for his summer outing.
“Supposedly there (was May) but I said I’m still working here (in Philippines Senate) so I did extend that until June.
“(So,) June 23 in America (US time) or June 24 here,” Pacquiao told reporters including GMA Online.
“I would also consider (another boxer) but Matthysse has a great chance,” he said.
On working around his job as Senator, Pacquiao added: “It will not (affect the job). Training will be worked around (my duties) and break between it. “