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Pacquiao’s next fight in Malaysia depends on site money says Arum

Lucas Matthysse Manny Pacquiao Bob Arum Jose Carlos Ramirez Pacquiao vs. Matthysse

By Chris Williams: Manny Pacquiao wants to fight for a world title against WBA World welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse next in June in Malaysia, but that fight depends on whether the site money comes through. According to Pacquiao’s long time promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank says he could fight on June 23 in Malaysia against Matthysse or unbeaten Jose Carlos Ramirez (21-0, 17 KOs) for the WBC light welterweight title.

Ramirez is one of Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters, and he’s battling this month for the vacant WBC 140 lb. strap against Amir Imam (21-1, 18 KOs) on March 17 on ESPN at Madison Square Garden in New York. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Ramirez will be the one that Arum pushes hard to have Pacquiao face next on June 23 instead of Matthysse, who is promoted by Golden Boy.

”Bob Arum says Manny Pacquiao will fight in Malaysia (if site $ comes) June 23 either vs. Lucas Matthysse or Jose Ramirez if he wins 140-Pound belt March 17,” Lance Pugmire said.

Pacquiao is anxious to fight Matthysse for his WBA title, but he’s not with Top Rank. This is very similar to how Pacquiao was so eager to fight Amir Khan in 2017 in the United Arab Emirates. The investor money didn’t come through for Pacquiao to face Khan, and Arum went ahead and matched him against one of his own Top Rank stable fighters instead in matching him against Jeff Horn. Pacquiao traveled to Horn’s hometown and fought him in Brisbane, Australia.

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Pacquiao was roughed up by Horn, nailed with countless accidental head-butts, and then he ended up losing a controversial 12 round decision. It won’t be surprising if we see the same situation with the Malaysian site money not coming through for Pacquiao to fight Matthysse. In that case, Arum will likely try and match Pacquiao against his own Top Rank fighter Jose Ramirez. That’s not a good fight for Pacquiao. He gains nothing from fighting Ramirez, who is an obscure fighter without a large fan base.

Arum would be better off looking to match Pacquiao against fighters outside of his Top Rank stable like Danny Garcia or Adrien Broner. Sticking Pacquiao with Ramirez and likely staging the fight his hometown of Fresno, California, would be a bad deal for Pacquiao. He might as well be fighting in Australia again. Arum needs to start matching Pacquiao against guys that are better known.

I could see how it would help Arum if Pacquiao fights Ramirez, because he’s one of his Top Rank fighters. It increases Ramirez’s marketability and value to Top Rank if he fights Pacquiao. It doesn’t help Pacquiao fighting a little known fighter like Ramirez for the WBC 140 lb. paper title. Titles don’ mater for Pacquiao at this point. The boxing public could care less about Pacquiao fighting for the WBC 140 lb. strap.

“I like his aggressive fighting style. That’s what I want to entertain the boxing fans,” Pacquiao said to about Matthysse. ”Besides, Matthysse is not a dirty fighter and I highly respect him for that.”

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Pacquiao’s reference to dirty fighting is clearly a shot at Jeff Horn, who really roughed him up badly last July. That fight looked like Pacquiao was being mugged in broad daylight with a referee that was just a spectator and not an official working to control the fight.

It’s too bad Pacquiao might not get the Matthysse fight. Arum wanted to match Pacquiao up against another one of his Top Rank stable fighters in Mike Alvarado on April 14th. Pacquiao didn’t take that fight. Pacquiao clearly wants Matthysse as his next opponent, but it’s not a good sign that Arum is mentioning Ramirez as one of the potential foes for Pacquiao’s next fight. Pacquiao has fought Top Rank fighters in 11 out of his last 13 fights. With Pacquiao not having very much time left in his career, you can argue that it’s more likely that he’ll wind up facing one of Arum’s fighters in his next fight. It would help Arum in a big way if Pacquiao used his remaining time in his career by fighting the guys he wants him to in his stable like Ramirez, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko. Pacquiao’s last 3 fights have come against Arum’s fighters Jeff Horn, Jessie Vargas and Tim Bradley. The boxing public were not interested in any of those fights.

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