According to a report from the Inquirer in the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao pushed for a fight with Lucas Matthysse for his April comeback bout, but Top Rank promoter stayed in-house and chose Mike Alvarado, instead.
Alvarado (38-4, 26 KO) makes sense because he’s relatively low-risk, and the money and promotion stays in Top Rank’s corner without having to deal with and co-promote with Golden Boy Promotions, who promote Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO).
The 37-year-old Alvarado hit a rough stretch in 2013-15, losing three straight fights to Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Brandon Rios, looking like a shell of himself in the third bout with Rios in particular. He was stopped in the corner by both Provodnikov and Rios.
He returned in 2016, after over a year out of the ring, and has won four straight fights against lesser competition. Top Rank has clearly been looking for the right opportunity for him, even if that opportunity is to cash out what’s left of his name value, and a fight with 39-year-old Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO), who needs a win, does add up.
Pacquiao-Alvarado is not a done deal yet, but is expected to take place on April 14, alongside the Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford fight in Las Vegas, live on ESPN.