Eight-world champion and current fighting legend Manny Pacquiao has spoken exclusively to WBN during preparations for his clash with Lucas Matthysse.
The ‘Pacman’ goes up against the Argentinian hardman on July 14 (July 15 in Malaysia) at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur aiming to pick up an eleventh world championship from a stellar career at the top.
Previously being involved in the most lucrative fight of all time against Floyd Mayweather in 2015, Pacquiao was asked his opinion on the cross-codes boxing match with Conor McGregor which took place last August.
Mayweather is reportedly in training to fight a return with the ex-UFC title holder under MMA rules and the Filipino Senator had a warning for his old rival when giving his input this week.
“We saw what happened when Mayweather fought McGregor the first time. McGregor now understands that boxing is a different game,” Pacquiao exclusively told World Boxing News.
“McGregor was the perfect opponent to hype a fight for Mayweather. But now he will be entering the lion’s den if he fights McGregor using MMA rules.
“This is where grappling and ground games are legal and dangerous for him,” the 39 year-old pointed out.
On whether a second fight is possible between the pair in the future despite a lengthy gap in between and Mayweather’s supposed retirement from the sport, Pacquiao remains optimistic he may once again get a call from his career nemesis.
“Absolutely I would want the rematch! I hope Mayweather comes out of retirement and we can fight again,” said Pacquiao.
“But I am not looking past this fight with Matthysse which will be a challenge for me,” he added cautiously.
Pacquiao has the opportunity to put himself in the mix for big fights against the likes of Keith Thurman and the winner of Danny Garcia v Shawn Porter for the vacant WBC welterweight title with victory over Matthysse this summer, although there are other names on everybody’s lips when it comes to seeing the veteran in future action.
Mikey Garcia or Vasyl Lomachenko at the lower super-lightweight limit are seen as more attractive affairs, with Pacquiao admitting to WBN he would be interested in taking on the latter after witnessing the Ukrainian’s great win over Jorge Linares at the weekend.
“Yes, of course, we are interest in that fight,” Pacquiao exclusively told World Boxing News in an interview earlier this week.
“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.”
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay