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ARUM SAYS ALVARADO FIRST THEN MATTHYSSE NEXT FOR PACQUIAO


PhilBoxing.com




Top Rank CEO Bob Arum is open to the thought of a showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse, but not in April. Argentina's Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) is fresh from an eight round TKO of Thailand's Tewa Kiram at The Forum in Los Angeles, winning the WBA regular welterweight title. He then named Pacquiao as one of his probable next opponent.

Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO's), when asked whom he wanted to fight next told the Manila Bulletin, “I want Matthysse.” The fighting legislator likes to make it happen during the break in his Senate work. “This is the fight that I like… a fight fans would also like to see. I can fight in April or even May," added the eight-division champion and former pound-for-pound king of the world.

But Arum told BoxingScene that he doesn't see that fight happening as soon as possible. He plans to pit Pacquiao against former world champion Mike Alvarado on April 14 as part of an ESPN pay-per-view co-featuring Jeff Horn defending his WBO welterweight title versus Terence Crawford at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“I see he has talked about fighting Matthysse,” Arum told BoxingScene but added that it's not going to happen. Matthysse is under contract with Golden Boy Promotions. However, its President Eric Gomez clarified that their company would not prevent Matthysse from going to ESPN, where Pacquiao has signed up to show his fight.

Arum stated that Pacquiao-Matthysse is a match he would be willing to look into in the future. He says time was very limited to agree with Matthysse because of some deadlines set for Pacquiao's proposed comeback fight on April 14 in Las Vegas. To make things easier, Arum wants Pacquiao to face Mike Alvarado, who is also promoted by Top Rank.

Arum explained during a Reddit chat: "Well [it wasn't possible to do next], because nobody's ever talked to Matthysse, about whether he's ready [to even fight in April]. I think some writer asked [Pacquiao] if he'd want to fight, and he said yes. Would he fight Matthysse down the road? Why not? But we were up against a deadline in April, so at that point not having talked to the opponent, it was a non-starter."

The 37-year-old Alvarado was not having a favorable career in 2013-15, losing three straight fights to Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Brandon Rios. He was looking awful and not on his usual fighting form in the third bout with Rios. He quit in his corner during the fight with Provodnikov and Rios.

Alvarado made a comeback in 2016, after over a year of inactivity, and won four straight fights against lesser opponents. Top Rank is looking for a big fight for him, even if that will a big gamble as a loss would mean a retirement from his ring exploits. But for the 39-year-old Pacquiao, a win against Alvarado is not far-fetched, much less a long awaited knockout victory.

"I am very happy, I had been able to win an interim title, and now with this world title, my dream has came true. It's been many years of sacrifice, I started boxing at eleven and I'm already 35," Matthysse said. He became interim champion on September 8, 2012 when he stopped Olusegun Ajose in Las Vegas for the World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight title.

Matthysse also stressed that he wants to fight eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao or a rematch with two-division world champion Danny Garcia. "I always want to fight with the best. I've already said that I would like to do it again with Danny Garcia or a fight with Manny Pacquiao, and I hope that one of those fights will happen," Matthysse said.

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach also approves the fight and made a talk with one of Matthysse's team members. Roach added that he thinks it will be a great fight between two guys who are a little bit older and not as big of punchers as they once were, but will be a very good action-packed fight.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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