Sport

KL title fight vs Matthysse is done deal - Pacquiao

KL title fight vs Matthysse is done deal - Pacquiao”

The Filipino ring icon has told reporters that he will stage his next fight in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 24.

"I know, this is going to be a tough fight". "It is against Matthysse".

Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, previously said he was eyeing an April date with Ukraine's World Boxing Organization superfeatherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko during a break from his senatorial duties.

"Definitely, Malaysia is where we will fight".

Pacquiao confirmed that his team will fly out to Kuala Lumpur on March 22 for the official launching of the fight. Arum is skeptical that the fight will materialize. "We would handle the logistics, we would handle the undercard and we would handle the television". Arum says if they receive $5 million up front of the $15 million fee for the fight they've agreed upon, they will make it happen. "[But] I'm not booking my flight [to Malaysia] yet".

Last week Pacquiao, 39, rejected an offer to fight on the undercard of the Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford fight in the U.S. in April. Pacquiao was initially set to fight Mike Alvarado, but that fizzled out. Beyond that, Pacquiao has deep tax issues despite earning hundreds of millions of dollars that Arum said would keep him from fighting in the United States.

Pacquiao said: "I like his aggressive fighting style".

Matthysse, meanwhile, is the WBA "regular" welterweight world champion. Pacquiao was supposed to fight Horn last November in a rematch, but Pacquiao withdrew from the fight after he revealed that his work schedule as a senator in the Philippines prevented Pacquiao from fully dedicating his time to train for the fight. He carries a 59 win off 38 KOs and seven losses slate. He has not fought since the controversial loss to Horn last summer. "That's what I want, to entertain the boxing fans", said Pacquiao in choosing the Argentinian for his opponent in his comeback fight after nearly a year of absence in the ring. Rafael says there has been speculation that Pacquiao felt disrespected that Arum wanted him to be an undercard fight to Jeff Horn and Bud Crawford in April.



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