Chatter has been bubbling for months now, but we have clarity on the next outing for the fighting Senator, Manny Pacquiao.
July 14, Pacman (59-7-2) will glove up for the first time since his July loss to Jeff Horn. The 39-year-old hitter will fight in Malaysia, against Lucas Matthysse, who now holds the WBA welterweight crown. His Manny Pacquiao Promotions will package the fight, and place it in an indoor arena, said Michael Koncz, Manny’s right-hand man, on Monday night.
Oscar De La Hoya Tweeted out the news, telling the Twitterverse that the scrap will unfold in Kuala Lumpur.
Koncz told me that yes, “Top Rank is involved.” That means Bob Arum and company will handle the TV side, in US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Pacman wants the fight on pay-per-view, Koncz said. Eric Gomez of GBP told me ESPN would be the platform, so it’s looking like ESPN is (back) in the PPV business.
It’s also looking like Coach Roach, “Dedham” Freddie, will not be getting Pacman ready and cornering him versus Matthysse. No bad blood or anything there, said Koncz, but Manny wants to give his faithful aide Buboy Fernandez a crack at being top dog cornering. They will take that element of things one fight at a time, Koncz continued.
There’s also no bad blood between Team Pacquiao and Top Rank, the advisor stated. “We’ve had a long working relationship, and it’s been prosperous,” Koncz said.
So, no bad blood? “If that’s the case why would we work with Bob on this one? We’ve been with Bob a long time, we’ve been very happy, Bob has helped Manny outside the ring. We appreciate that. There’s no hard feelings. All in all, we’re hoping for solid fan support for Manny.”
Mike Alvarado was offered by Arum as an option for Manny, Koncz relayed, but the Filipino icon didn’t want this next fight to be seen as a rust -shedder. He thinks the 35-year-old Argentine Matthysse (39-4) is a solid vet with much left in the tank, and he knows he will need to look good if he wants to keep chugging forward in the fight game sphere.
And by “chugging forward,” we mean fighting Vasyl Lomachenko. Pacman is craving that, if and when he gets past Matthysse.
“That would be something like Manny versus Oscar,” said Koncz, not in the result, but with the stakes being what they’d be. This would be a “torch passing” fight, with Loma in position to grab a huge hunk of notoriety if he were able to down Pacman, a living legend.
“But that’s not gonna happen,” said Koncz. He tells me Pacman will be training his tail off, for the Matthysse fight and for what could come next, if he gets the W in Malaysia.