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Bob Arum: Pacquiao fight not finalized, has doubts it will happen

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Bob Arum says he’s not booking a flight to Malaysia just yet.

Manny Pacquiao v Jeff Horn Press Conference Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Despite the fact that Manny Pacquiao’s company has already made an announcement that he’ll be fighting Lucas Matthysse on June 24 in Malaysia, hold your horses.

First of all, Golden Boy, who promote Matthysse, say there’s not been a deal reached yet. Eric Gomez told ESPN that they’re interested, but talks are in preliminary stages.

And in the same article, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum expresses his doubts that any fight in Malaysia will go through:

“For years we’ve had these proposals from people in the Mideast, whether it’s Abu Dhabi, or the Emirates, or Saudi Arabia, and we’re still waiting for the first deposit for the fight to happen. It didn’t, so now we’ve shifted our attention from the Mideast to the Far East and we’re looking for Malaysian money. ... If the money comes up then I’ve agreed to sign on. We would handle the logistics, we would handle the undercard and we would handle the television. All they have to do is say they got the $5 million of the $15 million. That makes it legit. [But] I’m not booking my flight [to Malaysia] yet.”

Pacquiao claims that his company will handle the full card, so obviously there’s a lot going on here, and there is reason to suspect a rift has grown between Pacquiao and Arum, who would rather Manny move back down to 140 pounds and face Jose Ramirez, should Ramirez beat Amir Imam for a vacant world title on March 17.

Right now, this is more or less your standard “Manny Pacquiao will fight X in Y exotic location” (and I mean exotic for a boxing match featuring a major star) story. We’ll see if it goes any further than talk.