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Manny Pacquiao vs. Mike Alvarado close to being done for April 14

Image: Manny Pacquiao vs. Mike Alvarado close to being done for April 14

By Sean McDaniel: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is said to be close to having the Manny Pacquiao vs. Mike Alvarado fight done for April 14 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. If Arum can get the fight done, Pacquiao-Alvarado will be the co-feature bout on the Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford card on ESPN pay-per-view.

It’s important that Top Rank gets the Pacquiao vs. Alvarado fight added to the Horn-Crawford card, because for it to be on ESPN pay-per-view, it needs at least 1 legitimate star. Pacquiao the card needs for Top Rank to ask the boxing fans to pay to see it, even though his fight against the 37-year-old Alvarado his a dreadful fight, as is the main event match pitting Horn against Crawford.

Alvarado is being given the fight against Pacquiao due to Top Rank having invested a lot of money in the Colorado native’s career back in 2012 and 2013, according to Forbes. Matching Alvarado against Pacquiao in a pay-per-view fight will give Top Rank a return on their investment.

Alvarado will be the B-side opponent to make Pacquiao look like a million bucks like he used to 8 years ago when he was in his prime in 2010. Alvarado was given up on by boxing fans after his losses to Brandon Rios, Ruslan Provodnikov and Juan Manuel Marquez. Alvarado has won his last 4 fights against lesser opposition. It doesn’t matter that Alvarado hasn’t fought the best fighters. He’s still being given the Pacquiao fight based on those 4 wins over flimsy opposition.

The only thing that’ll stop the Pacquiao vs. Alvarado fight from being made is if the Filipino star tells Arum he’s not interested. That is unlikely to happen. Pacquiao is perceived by boxing fans as bending to the will of the 86-year-old Arum during his time with Top Rank. In Pacquiao’s last 14 fights, 12 of his opponents have Arum’s Top Rank fighters. That suggests that Arum has been getting his way with Pacquiao when it comes to who he fights. At this point, it looks like that pattern will continue with Pacquiao agreeing to fight Alvarado on the undercard of Horn vs. Crawford.

Pacquiao says he wants to fight for a world title against WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse and feelings are mutual. Matthysse wants to fight Pacquiao.

“I want Matthysse. This is the fight that I like,” Pacquiao said to the Manila Bulletin. ”The fight fans would also like to see. I can fight in April or even May.”

If Pacquiao is rebelling against Arum after all these years, then he might not agree to take the fight with Alvarado on the Crawford vs. Horn undercard. The fact that Pacquiao is asking for the Matthysse fight instead suggests that he’s not on the same page as Arum with him wanting to match him against Alvarado. You can understand it from Pacquiao’s part why he would be rebelling. After all, Top Rank was the ones who made the decision to have fight Jeff Horn in his home country of Brisbane, Australia last July. Top Rank isn’t doing that with Crawford. He gets to fight Horn in the United States.

Crawford doesn’t have to go in the lion’s den to fight Horn in Australia the way Pacquiao did. Pacquiao coming out and asking for the Matthysse fight while Arum is talking about wanting him to fight Alvarado next suggests there may be some trouble brewing. The boxing public would likely prefer to see Pacquiao fight Matthysse than seeing him fight Alvarado on April 14. Alvarado was a good fighter 6 years ago, but he’s so far gone at this point. It’s going to make Pacquiao look bad just by fighting him.

Pacquiao could fight Matthysse in April or May if Arum was to make that fight, but that’s probably not going to happen. Arum wants Pacquiao to fight his Top Rank fighter Alvarado, and it looks like he’s going to get his way. Matthysse won the WBA 147 lb. title in stopping Tewa Kirim in the 8th round. Matthysse would a far better fight for the Horn vs. Crawford card on April 14th than the Pacquiao-Alvarado match. Arum isn’t saying that he’s going to make an effort to give Pacquiao is wish of facing Matthysse.

If Pacquiao does fight Alvarado on the undercard of Horn vs. Crawford, he’ll presumably be back with his longtime trainer Freddie Roach. There’s talk that the two haven’t spoken to each other since Pacquiao’s loss to Jeff Horn last July. Pacquiao is going to need to get with Roach if he’ll be keeping him for the Alvarado fight, as there’s only 8 weeks to go before the April 14th fight date. Roach seemed play a passive role in Pacquiao’s loss to Horn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia. Roach didn’t seem like he was engaged mentally during the fight. When Pacquiao was getting head-butted and badly roughed up by Horn, Roach wasn’t getting on the referee’s case to take charge of the fight to have him to penalize the Australian fighter.

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