By Keith Idec
The Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse fight hasn’t been officially announced, but it already has been postponed.
Their 12-round fight for Matthysse’s WBA welterweight title has been pushed back from June 24 to July 8, according to a report posted to the Manila Bulletin’s website Sunday. The story stated that the press conference to officially announce the Pacquiao-Matthysse match has been postponed from April 4 to April 11.
Oscar De La Hoya, whose company promotes Matthysse, is expected to attend that press conference. The 12-round, 147-pound title bout between the Philippines’ Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) and Argentina’s Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs, 1 NC) reportedly will take place in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia.
According to the Manila Bulletin, Pacquiao cited Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, as a reason for moving away from June 24.
More than 60 percent of Malaysia’s population is Muslim. It was not made clear in the story, however, why Ramadan, which will begin May 16 and end June 14, would impact a fight that had been scheduled to take place 10 days after Ramadan will end.
Pacquiao disclosed earlier this month that he would fight Matthysse in the main event of a card the Filipino icon claims will be backed financially by a group of investors from Malaysia. Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, previously offered Pacquiao a non-title welterweight fight against Mike Alvarado on April 14 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao reportedly was insulted by an offer to fight on the Terence Crawford-Jeff Horn undercard and turned down the Alvarado fight. That card later was postponed until June 9 and now will take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao hasn’t fought since suffering a controversial, 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Horn (18-0-1, 12 KOs) on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.