Tuesday, March 20, 2018  |


Manny Pacquiao in talks to fight Lucas Matthysse on June 24 in Malaysia


LOS ANGELES — Manny Pacquiao isn’t done fighting yet.

The Filipino senator turned down an opportunity to face Mike Alvarado in the co-feature to Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn on April 14, but now he has a potential date, location and opponent lined up for his return.

The former eight-division titleholder told the Manila Times that he’ll fight Lucas Matthysse on June 24 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and while there are ongoing talks for that event, there’s no deal yet, despite Pacquiao’s proclamation.

“Manny and his people are hoping that this group in Malaysia come up with the money, the first significant deposit,” Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, told THE RING on Thursday. “If they do, we’ll gear up, I’ll send [Top Rank COO] Brad Jacobs over for the logistics, we’ll put an undercard on.

“As as who he will fight, it will either be Matthysse or maybe Jose Ramirez, if he beats Amir Imam next week. … Because Manny is looking down the road to fight [Vasyl] Lomachenko at 140 pounds, and so he might as well try to win the 140-pound title but Ramirez is no cinch against Amir Imam.”

Top Rank also promotes Ramirez, the 2012 Olympian who will try to earn his first world title. But whether they still promote Pacquiao is another matter. Pacquiao said his company, MP Promotions, would handle the fight amid rumors the future hall of famer has cut ties with Top Rank.

Pacquiao’s longtime manager, Michael Koncz, contacted Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez to secure the services of Matthysse for the fight. “Michael Koncz did contact me and we’re interested,” Gomez told THE RING, “and that’s all I can say.”

A voice message left with Koncz was not returned.

If the fight takes place in Malaysia, it would occur on Sunday morning there, June 24, which would accommodate U.S. television for a Saturday night telecast on June 23.

“I like [Matthysse’s] aggressive fighting style,” said Pacquiao, THE RING’s No. 6 welterweight. “That’s what I want, to entertain the boxing fans. Besides, Matthysse is not a dirty fighter and I highly respect him for that.”

The 39-year-old was likely taking a dig at Horn, who beat him via controversial decision in July, the last time Pacquiao was seen in the ring. Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 knockouts) dropped his title to Horn during the grueling fight, which featured plenty of headbutts and several deep gashes on Pacman’s face, but a shot at Matthysse would offer him the opportunity to regain a 147-pound title.

Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) won the WBA’s secondary title with an eighth-round stoppage of Thai fighter Tewa Kiram in January, though the Argentine wasn’t thriving until the finish. It was the 35-year-old’s first title win after previous defeats to Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol at 140 pounds. He’s now rated No. 8 by THE RING one weight class above.

“It’s a great matchup,” Gomez said. “You have Matthysse, who’s very aggressive — a big puncher. Manny’s a little bit old now, but still a big puncher, but not as quick as he once was. Half of Manny’s still better than most.

“It’s two guys who still want to prove they can fight at a very high level. It’s a very even match.”

Now, it’s up to the group in Malaysia to deliver the necessary funds to make Pacquiao-Matthysse a reality.

Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger

  • Robert Archambault

    I still can’t see Pacman getting down to 140 and having any power or stamina left in his body. Lomachenko would take his heart and Manny would end up quitting and that would be a sad way to end his career.

    • WR

      Manny might lose against Loma But he’s no quitter

      • Robert Archambault

        Let him drop down to 140 and face Loma in the ring and then we will talk.

        • Robert Archambault

          Not to mention that I’ve never read a damn thing to indicate that Loma is interested in jumping TWO weight classes to fight anyone.


            I don’t know why Old Bob thinks he can work magic to make Lomie fight Pac. Lomie and his people already said they weren’t interested and they sounded firm.

          • Robert Archambault

            He’s just using Loma’s name to get extra attention in the same way Ward used to bring up Golovkin at every opportunity. Everyone knows there’s no chance in hell of the fight ever happening but the media reports on it anyways. Sites like Boxingscene and BoxingNews24 would go out of business without pointless articles like this. LOL

          • Teddy Reynoso

            Oh yeah? You think Loma is a bigger name than Manny even at this stage of his semi retirement,? Look again, pal. What endorsements has he got? What fights can you share us where Loma got the purse or live gate attendance and pay per view numbers equalling or approaching that Manny had in his so called declining years?

          • Robert Archambault

            Sorry, but I really don’t give a shit about the numbers or dollar figures. Manny may as well start talking about fighting Crawford or moving up to fight GGG. Just as much chance of that happening as fighting Lomachenko. Loma has no reason at all to jump TWO DIVISIONS to fight a former champion on his last legs. If he beats Manny to a pulp everyone will say it was expected and give him no credit. If he loses, people will say he was over rated. He has nothing to win in this fight.
            And by the way… I have always been a fan of Manny Pacquaio but there is a time for a fighter to call it quits and Manny’s time has passed. After losing to Horn, a fight I feel he actually won going away, he had two choices… an immediate rematch or accept his fate and retire. I have no interest in seeing him fight again and go out like B-Hop, embarrassed and beaten.

          • Arjay Cee

            That’s how I see it as well, Robert. This is meant to be the sweet science, not the dismal science.

            The earnest Matthysse is well past it now, anyway, and Manny is just trying to settle debts, so this matchup is wax museum stuff.

          • Stephen M

            Just wait til he sees the $$$$$.

          • Teddy Reynoso

            I doubt it. They are deathly afraid what an old, supposedly washed Pacquiao can still do against their Superman.

      • ceylon mooney

        yeah, but hell phone it in. not too sure about the shoulder injury, but looked like he quit tryin against mayweather after 3 or so rounds.

        • WR

          I don’t know how you watch & judge fights bro
          IMO Quitting is when a boxer doesn’t engage
          Pac was engaging Floyd the whole fight without much success but he was trying

    • Teddy Reynoso

      Oh yeah and who posses on his jersey when Manny posed the challenge for a fight at 140? He even called Papa for help to stop that talk from getting real.

  • Fist_ti_cuffs

    Manny is now a free agent. I never thought it would happen. Best wishes!!

    • ceylon mooney

      seems hes acting like it–is that true?

      • Teddy Reynoso

        Manny is a Senator now and it would really look very bad if he will allow himself to be dictated by a foreigner even if that concerns his boxing, particularly in a bout that’s demeaning of his stature as a boxing legend and against an opponent who hardly has a chance at that! And Arum knows better than assert his rights as his promoter aware that his position stands on thin ice and that he is dealing with a very popular and influential high government official who he says could even become president in the future.

        • ceylon mooney

          oh yeah. i didnt consider that angle.

  • Conrad

    This would’ve been a great fight 5 years ago

    • Wade Wilson

      As they’re both on the decline it may still end up fun.

  • Black Oracle

    Way better than Alvarado.

  • jimi

    move up and fight PAC is the biggest opportunity LOMA will ever get
    – most logical reason they are pissing it is caus Bob is not giving them the right figures $$
    – if LOMA never fights PAC he´ll never be great , PAC did all those things when he was young so LOMA…. man up please!!

    • Teddy Reynoso

      Looks like the Loma fight won’t happen. Not only the Lomas declined it for whatever convenient and inexplicable ( yeah, you are right, that is the opportunity for Vasyl to inherit the mantle ) reasons. They have slowed down his drive towards moving up to the higher weight classes. Not even a fight with Jorge Linares or any of the top guys at lightweight is a sure thing at this time. Crawford has moved out of reach at welterweight. Mikey Garcia is fighting for another title at 140 and is targeting Linares in his planned return to 135. Manny is aiming for another title at 147 and if Arum has his way, another title at 140. The Lomas are steering clear from those dangerous fighters even though Vasyl can easily make 140 or above as he has in his last few bouts fighting as a super featherweight. Hypocritical.

  • PrinceGian

    A fight with Matthysse would be an ideal final fight for Pacquiao. He will be fighting someone with name recognition and a title (though a secondary one) and most importantly is even in more decline than himself.

    • Sam Topeka

      Yes, Pac should call it a day. He’s had a fine career, but he needs to quit while he still has some marbles left.

  • Emeka Nnaji Jr.

    Good fight but Matthysse is not a champion