Pacquiao wants Matthysse; Arum picks Alvarado
Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 15, 2018 at 5:15 am

Boxer Manny Pacquiao and his coach Freddy Roach chat as boxing promoter Bob Arum (R) looks on at a press conference in Beverly Hills, California on September 8, 2016, announcing the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas on November 5th. / AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN

Both Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse want to fight each other.

But promoter Bob Arum insists it’s not going to happen, leaning on Mike Alvarado to get a crack at Pacquiao when the eight-division world champion returns to the ring in April.

Whoever will get his way will likely be known within the week, otherwise Pacquiao’s comeback timetable will be pushed back to May.

Matthysse, on the other hand, called out Pacquiao after knocking out Tewa Kiram in the eighth round to clinch the World Boxing Association welterweight crown on Jan. 27 at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

For his part, the 86-year-old Arum had earlier announced that he’s close to forging a doubleheader pitting Horn against Terrence Crawford and Pacquiao against Alvarado on April 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

On Tuesday, however, Arum changed his mind and said that he’s moving the promotion over to Las Vegas, particularly Mandalay Bay, so as not to deluge New York with boxing cards.

While the venue is a non-issue as far as Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 knockouts) is concerned, the Fighting Senator likes Matthysse (39-4, 36 knockouts) over Alvarado (38-4, 26 knockouts) to be his opponent.

Arum, of course, prefers Alvarado because the former world champion is, like Pacquiao, with his Top Rank Promotions.—ROY LUARCA

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