According to Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, he's open to the idea of staging a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Argentinean puncher Lucas Matthysse - but not in coming future.
Last month, Matthysse secured an eight round TKO of Tewa Kiram at The Forum in Los Angeles. With that victory, he captured the 'regular' version of the WBA welterweight title.
Afterwards, Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) named Pacquiao as one of the top targets on his list of potential opponents this year.
When Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO's) was approached about the idea of doing that fight - the eight division world champion was fully on board with making it happen.
“I want Matthysse,” Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin during a break in his Senate duties.
“This is the fight that I like… a fight fans would also like to see. I can fight in April or even May."
However, Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com that he doesn't see that fight happening.
He intends to match Pacquiao against former champion Mike Alvarado on April 14 as part of an ESPN Pay-Per-View from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Pacquiao has not fought since losing the WBO welterweight belt to Jeff Horn on July 1st at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
“I see he has talked about fighting Matthysse,” Arum said to BoxingScene.com. “But that's not gonna happen.”
Golden Boy Promotions President Eric Gomez stated to BoxingScene that his company wouldn't stand in the way of Matthysse heading over to ESPN, where Pacquiao is contractually bound, to do the fight.
Arum was recently asked about the statement that he made to BoxingScene regarding Matthysse - and he explained that the idea of doing that contest would be something that he's willing to explore in the future.
He says there wasn't enough time to get a deal done with Matthysse, because of certain deadlines for Pacquiao's planned ring return on April 14 in Las Vegas - as part of an ESPN pay-per-view card. Pacquiao is likely going to face Mike Alvarado, who is also promoted by Top Rank.
"Well [it wasn't possible to do next], because nobody's ever talked to Matthysse, about whether he's ready [to even fight in April]. I think some writer asked [Pacquiao] if he'd want to fight, and he said yes. Would he fight Matthysse down the road? Why not? But we were up against a deadline in April, so at that point not having talked to the opponent, it was a non-starter," Arum explained during a Reddit chat.