After it was confirmed that eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao won’t be fighting Top Rank’s April 14th card in Las Vegas, the boxer-turned-lawmaker himself shed some light on what his next move will be.
Speaking to ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo, Pacquiao revealed that his next bout will be in Malaysia.
“Definitely, Malaysia tayo lalaban, if not May, this coming June.” Pacquiao said. “Mga third week of June, para hindi mag-conflict sa trabaho yung preparation.”
Pacquiao also explained why he chose to fight in Malaysia, instead of the April 14 card first offered by Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
“Kasi nag-hiling din yung mga taga-Malaysia na magkaroon ako ng fight doon.”
As for who he’ll be fighting in Malaysia, Pacquiao says that the field has been narrowed down to two possible boxers, Lucas Mathysse or Danny Garcia.
“Dalawang boxers, we will announce pag na-finalize na kung sino…Mathysse or Danny Garcia.”
Garcia is a name that has long been linked to Pacquiao. Back in 2016, Garcia expressed his desire to get in the ring with Pacquiao, but then reportedly turned down an offer from Arum. Arum has denied being in touch with Garcia or his camp, and the talks never really got off the ground.
The 29-year old Garcia is coming off a ninth-round TKO win over a former Pacquiao opponent in Brandon Rios. The American is a former two-division world champion, holding titles in the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions. In March of 2017, Garcia dropped the WBA Super and WBC Welterweght world titles to Keith Thurman after a unanimous decision loss.
Mathysse on the other hand, also a two-division titleholder, is a name that just recently got thrown into the mix after the Argentinian also expressed his desire to face off against the Pinoy boxing legend.
The 35-year old Mathysse is the reigning WBA Welterweight World Champion and is coming off a title-defense KO over Thailand’s Tewa Kiram.
Mathysse and Garcia have crossed paths before, with the latter taking the unanimous decision win for the WBA Super and WBC junior welterweight world titles in 2013.
If everything goes according to plan for Pacquiao, his fight in Malaysia will be his first fight in Asia since defeating Chris Algieri in Macao back in 2014.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.