Manny Pacquiao has seemingly severed ties with Bob Arum, at least for his next fight, after confirming a clash with Lucas Matthysse is in the pipeline.
Should the WBA ‘regular’ title fight make it over the line for June 23 (June 24 in Malaysia), Pacquiao would be teaming his own promotional company MP8 with that of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy outfit, who represent Matthysse.
Arum has had little input in the negotiation period, according to reports in the Philippines, and his time representing Pacquiao is deemed to at the very least be on hold.
Announcing to the world his desire to fight Matthysse this summer after turning down an offer from Arum to fight Mike Alvarado in April, Pacquiao said in a statement: “This is going to be a tough fight. Matthysse is also a knockout artist. But I’m excited to fight and be a world champion again.
“I’m the underdog in this fight but I’m used to it. It serves as a big motivation for me to train and fight hard to win the crown.
“I like his aggressive fighting style. That’s what I want, to entertain the boxing fans,” he added.
Top Rank may well have given Pacquiao their blessing to arrange his own contest in Asia, although are possibly losing their grip on the eight-weight legend after a prolonged spell in partnership.
Pacquiao’s loss to Jeff Horn – which was highly controversial, won’t have helped – whilst placing a fighter of his caliber on an undercard could have been the final straw.
More is set to be revealed in the coming days once De La Hoya makes his position clear as Pacquiao bids for a WBA belt not currently recognized by the vast majority of the sport.
Keith Thurman is the reigning WBA ‘super’ champion, although Pacquiao was never considered by Al Haymon as an opponent for the American’s comeback from injury.
Other belt holders, Errol Spence and Horn himself, also weren’t on the ‘Pacman’ radar due to their own commitments to other events.