By Steve Kim
On July 14th at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao will challenge Lucas Matthysse for the 'regular' WBA welterweight title.
Pacquiao last fought on July 1st 2017 on ESPN where he dropped a highly disputed decision to Jeff Horn at the Suncorp Stadium in Australia, in what was the debut of Top Rank's exclusive deal with the network. The fight was the highest rated boxing card of the entire year. In fact, it was the highest rated fight on cable since 2006.
As for how it can be seen in the States, Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com - "We left that decision up to Manny and he wants it to be on pay-per-view."
Top Rank is not promoting this event but they are distributing this event to America through their relationship with ESPN.
Arum explained that ESPN will be showing a free event, which is going to lead to the pay-per-view card featuring Pacquiao's fight.
"What we're going to do on July 14th is we have a linear ESPN show that's going to precede the pay-per-view and then we're going to switch to Malaysia and do two championship fights and Pacquiao on pay-per-view," Arum said.
Arum says of July 14th - "The linear ESPN card will be a full ESPN show but it will be reminding the viewers to buy the pay-per-view."
Pacquiao will be entering the fight without the services of longtime trainer Freddie Roach, who worked with the Filipino boxer since 2001. Instead, Pacquiao will be trained by his close friend Buboy Fernandez.
Matthysse is looking to secure the biggest victory of his pro career. He captured the WBA belt back in January, with an HBO televised eight round stoppage over Tewa Kiram. The contest with Pacquiao with by Matthysse's third at the welterweight limit of 147.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.