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Pacquiao says he’s fighting Matthysse or Danny Garcia next in Malaysia

Danny Garcia Lucas Matthysse Manny Pacquiao top rank

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao is saying he’ll be fighting next in May or June against either WBA World welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse or Danny Garcia in Malaysia. Pacquiao, 39, will not be fighting on the undercard of Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford on April 14 on ESPN PPV in Las Vegas, Nevada.

That’s when Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank wanted him to fight against Mike Alvarado. Pacquiao has other ideas than to fight the 37-year-old Alvarado, who few boxing fans wanted to see him fight.

”Definitely, Malaysia, if not May, this coming June,” Pacquiao said to ABS-CBN News. ”The third week of June. We will announce and finalize fight against Mathysse or Danny Garcia.”

Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) wants to fight Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) for his WBA 147lb. title that he won in stopping Tewa Kiram in the 8th round on January 27th. Matthysse, 35, didn’t look that good in the fight, but he was dealing with a fighter with zero experience against world class opposition. The fact that Kiram, 28, lasted 8 rounds is more of an indication of how much Matthysse has lost from his game due to age, inactivity and the wear and tear that comes from his many wars during his 14-year pro career.

If Pacquiao’s longtime promoter Arum isn’t behind him fighting Matthysse or Danny Garcia, then it’s possible neither of these fights ever materialize. We all remember how Pacquiao was trying to setup a fight between him and Amir Khan in 2017. Arum instead matched Pacquiao against one of his own Top Rank fighters in Jeff Horn in a fight that took place on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.

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Pacquiao was roughed up for 12 rounds by the Australian Horn and arguably robbed of a decision. Many boxing fans thought Pacquiao was robbed. Why Arum chose to have his biggest PPV fighter in his Top Rank stable fight in Australia in Jeff Horn’s hometown of Brisbane is anyone’s guess. If Arum had put the Pacquiao-Khan fight together, Pacquiao probably would have won the fight and his career would be in fine shape. Khan isn’t the type to rough up his opponents. Pacquiao would have an excellent knocking Khan out in that fight.

Fighting in Malaysia will be a positive for Pacquiao. He won’t have to deal with having a large crowd rooting against him like he experienced in his last fight against the 29-year-old Horn. Pacquiao was fighting in Horn’s hometown with a referee that wasn’t taking action to penalize the Australian for his roughhouse tactics that he was using. It was one of the worst officiated fights I’ve personally ever seen. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach wasn’t taking action to be an advocate or his fighter by speaking with the referee about the roughhouse tactics that Horn was using. Pacquiao was fighting a clean fight against a fighter that was lowering his head and ramming him all night long. It looked like Pacquiao was inside the ring with a large Ram, and it hard to watch. Pacquiao was cut up from the head-butts from Horn, and I lost track of how many times he was shoved and put in a head-lock.

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Danny Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) would be a good opponent for Pacquiao as well. Garcia, 29, is a former 2-division world champion. He’s coming off a 9th round knockout of Brandon Rios on February 17th. Garcia knocked Rios out with a right hand to the head in the 9th. Garcia looked slow on his feet, flat-footed and very beatable. If Pacquiao is able to get back to the form he showed in his third fight against Tim Bradley in 2016, he should be able to beat Garcia without any problems.

Pacquiao vs. Danny Garcia would likely attract more attention in the boxing world than Pacquiao-Matthysse. Garcia doesn’t have a world title though, as he lost his WBC welterweight strap last year in March in getting beaten by WBA champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman by a 12 round split decision. The only thing Pacquiao could gain in beating Garcia is the respect from the boxing public. Garcia is still seen as a very good fighter, and he’s rated above Matthysse in the eyes of a lot fans.

If Pacquiao wants to win another world, then Matthysse is the way to go. Pacquiao would have a good chance of beating Matthysse to take his WBA title, and he could then look to try and get a fight against Thurman. That would be an excellent fight for Pacquiao as well. But those guys aren’t with Top Rank, and I don’t know that Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum would allow him to fight those guys. Arum makes a lot in house fights involving his Top Rank stable guys. In an example of that, of Pacquiao’s last 13 fights, 11 of them have come against Arum’s Top Rank fighters. Is that an accident that Pacquiao has been matched like that or is on purpose? Pacquiao wanted to fight Khan last year. Khan wasn’t a Top Rank fighter. Pacqiuiao instead was matched against Horn, one of Arum’s fighters.

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Danny Garcia might wind up pricing himself out for a fight against Pacquiao. Garcia receives over $1 million per fight, even though he’s not a world champion. If Garcia wants parity with Pacquiao or somewhere close to the same kind of money he’s getting, then it’s not likely the fight will happen. Pacquiao vs. Garcia might not be a PPV worthy fight in the U.S. Garcia is not a superstar. He’s more of a blue-collar type of fighter, who did well with careful match-making when he was at 140.

After Garcia moved up to 147, he won the vacant WBC welterweight title when he an over-the-hill Robert Guerrero for the belt in January 2016. Garcia barely beat Guerrero. The WBC let Guerrero fight Garcia for the vacant WBC 147 lb. title instead of the higher ranked Shawn Porter. The WBC should have had Garcia fight Porter for their vacant WBC 147 lb. title. Garcia lucked out by the WBC letting him fight Guerrero. The WBC might as well have just given their title to Garcia. There was no risk involved for Garcia like there would have been had the WBC ordered him to fight Porter instead of Guerrero.

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