Former 8 division champion ready to return
Earlier this week 3KingsBoxing.com reported that a potential between Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse was slated to take place on July 8th in Kuala Lumpur. Originally the two sides was aiming for June 24th but that date was scrapped due to the Muslim holiday, Ramadan.
It was still in the negotiating stages at that time but according to reports that have surfaced early this morning a verbal agreement has now been reached for the fight to definitely take place.
There was also some questions about Pacquiao and his longtime promoter, Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, no longer being associated and/or Pacquiao being a promotional “free agent”. While Pacquiao’s team around him in the Philippines repeatedly said the deal between Pacquiao and Top Rank was officially over, Arum steadfastly denied the rumors.
It appears that Pacquiao’s own company MP Promotions will be the primary promoter, while Matthysse promoter Golden Boy would serve as secondary promoter. While Top Rank’s name may not be “listed” with the event, they will handle all the American TV rights as the fight will be broadcast on the Top Rank on ESPN platform. The fight would actually air in America on the night of July 7th.
“He, (Arum), is invited and there’s no problem. I think after my fight with Matthysse, we will talk regarding the possible Pacquiao-(Vasyl) Lomachenko fight in the future,” Pacquiao told reporters on Sunday in Manilla. “ … That is a good fight because he is a champion and I’ll be challenged to become a champion again. At the same time, I don’t want the people to say that’s just a tune-up fight.”
By the time of the fight Pacquiao will have been out of the ring for a few days over one year. He last fought against Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July in a bout a lot of observers felt Pacquiao won although the judges seen it differently as the awarded Horn the victory, while capturing the WBO welterweight title.
Matthysse, last fought just over two months ago in January as he defeated Tewa Kiram by 8th round stoppage, in a battle for the then vacant WBA regular welterweight title.
By: Chris Henderson