Pacquiao bout not a done deal, says Arum

MANILA • Doubts have emerged over Thursday's announcement by Philippine legend Manny Pacquiao that he will fight Argentina's World Boxing Association (regular) welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia on June 24.

The 39-year-old will be co-promoting the bout after rejecting an offer to fight in Las Vegas on an undercard to his recent conqueror Jeff Horn, who will be facing American Terence Crawford on April 14.

Pacquiao's trainer Restituto Fernandez said he expects the KL bout, set to be co-staged by Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions and the Filipino's own company, MP Promotions, to be "a real brawl because Matthysse is an aggressive fighter".

The co-promotion signals an apparent break with long-time US promoter Bob Arum - who reportedly warned that the card was not a done deal.

In an interview with ESPN, Arum expressed doubt on whether the fight would actually go ahead.

Pacquiao had agreed to fight Briton Amir Khan in the UAE last April, only for the bout to fall through over money issues.

"For years, we've had these proposals from people in the Middle East... and we're still waiting for the first deposit for the fight to happen," Arum said.

"It didn't, so now we've shifted our attention from the Middle East to the Far East and we're looking for Malaysian money. I'm not booking my flight (to Malaysia) yet."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2018, with the headline 'Pacquiao bout not a done deal, says Arum'. Print Edition | Subscribe