Pacquiao keen on fighting in Malaysia, eyes Matthysse or Garcia

Manny Pacquiao

Wendell Rupert Alinea

Pacquiao keen on fighting in Malaysia, eyes Matthysse or Garcia

Dino Maragay ( - March 6, 2018 - 4:17pm

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao is dead serious on fighting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, saying the people there has shown interest in seeing him in action.

Pacquiao’s ring return would happen as late as June, not in May as many expected, and definitely not in April as originally planned by Bob Arum and Top Rank Inc.

“Definitely (sa) Malaysia tayo lalaban. This coming June. Mga third week of June,” Pacquiao told ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo.

He said holding the fight in June will enable him to focus more on training.

“Para hindi mag-conflict sa trabaho at hindi magahol sa preparation (So my training will not go in conflict with [Senate] work),” added Pacquiao, who last saw action in July last year, losing the WBO welterweight championship to Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia.

The Filipino icon also said that he is eyeing either Argentine Lucas Matthysse or Danny Garcia of the United States, both of whom are considered to be key players in the welterweight division.

Matthysse (39-4, with 36 KOs) is the reigning WBA welterweight champion, while Garcia (34-1-, with 20 KOs) is a former super lightweight titlist who also briefly held the WBC welterweight strap before losing it to Keith Thurman last year.

Pacquiao cleared things up amid various reports that he has passed up on Top Rank’s offer for him to fight in the undercard of Horn’s bout with Terence Crawford on April 14 in Las Vegas.

In that card, Arum had originally planned to pit Pacquiao against former champion Mike Alvarado. But Pacquiao — and many boxing observers — had shown little interest in such match-up.

Neither is Pacquiao keen on fighting in the US for now.

“Willing din yung mga Malaysians (to back my fight there),” said Pacquiao.

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