Will Manny Pacquiao end up fighting Mike Alvarado in his ring return?

Arum close to making Pacquiao vs Alvarado fight

MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum is expecting to soon finalize a deal that would pit Manny Pacquiao against American slugger Mike Alvarado.

Arum plans to hold Pacquiao-Alvarado as part of a double-header card in Las Vegas that would also showcase Terence Crawford clashing with Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn.

The event is planned for April 14 and would be televised on ESPN pay-per-view.

But first, Arum is hoping to get Pacquiao and Alvarado on the same side in terms of the fight contract as soon as possible.

“We’re making progress on it [the deal],” Arum said in a boxingscene.com report by Keith Idec.

“I’m gonna talk to [Pacquiao adviser] Michael [Koncz] tonight and hopefully wrap it all up,” added the veteran promoter.

Known for his come-forward style, the 37-year-old Alvarado (38-4, with 26 KOs) is the perfect opponent for Pacquiao, who is seeking to bounce back from a loss to Horn last year and get his career back on track.

Among the names that ring a bell on Alvarado’s resume are former Pacquiao opponents Brandon Rios and Juan Manuel Marquez. Alvarado lost to Marquez once, while he went 1-2 in his trilogy with Rios, his two setbacks coming by way of knockout.

He loves to slug it out in the ring, something Pacquiao loves.

But on Wednesday, Pacquiao sang a different tune when he told reporters during a Senate break that he prefers to fight Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse, who was recently crowned the WBA welterweight champion.

Matthysse (39-4, with 36 KOs), who is fresh from a knockout victory over Tewa Kiram to win the title last month, likewise wants Pacquiao and has repeatedly called the Filipino icon out.

Pacquiao will have to clear things up with Arum, who appears to be more keen on Alvarado.

The only thing that’ll stop the Pacquiao vs. Alvarado fight from being made is if the Filipino star tells Arum he’s not interested. That is unlikely to happen. Pacquiao is perceived by boxing fans as bending to the will of the 86-year-old Arum during his time with Top Rank. In Pacquiao’s last 14 fights, 12 of his opponents have Arum’s Top Rank fighters. That suggests that Arum has been getting his way with Pacquiao when it comes to who he fights. At this point, it looks like that pattern will continue with Pacquiao agreeing to fight Alvarado on the undercard of Horn vs. Crawford.

Pacquiao says he wants to fight for a world title against WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse and feelings are mutual. Matthysse wants to fight Pacquiao.

“I want Matthysse. This is the fight that I like,” Pacquiao said to the Manila Bulletin. ”The fight fans would also like to see. I can fight in April or even May.”

If Pacquiao is rebelling against Arum after all these years, then he might not agree to take the fight with Alvarado on the Crawford vs. Horn undercard. The fact that Pacquiao is asking for the Matthysse fight instead suggests that he’s not on the same page as Arum with him wanting to match him against Alvarado. You can understand it from Pacquiao’s part why he would be rebelling. After all, Top Rank was the ones who made the decision to have to fight Jeff Horn in his home country of Brisbane, Australia last July. Top Rank isn’t doing that with Crawford. He gets to fight Horn in the United States.

Crawford doesn’t have to go into the lion’s den to fight Horn in Australia the way Pacquiao did. Pacquiao coming out and asking for the Matthysse fight while Arum is talking about wanting him to fight Alvarado next suggests there may be some trouble brewing. The boxing public would likely prefer to see Pacquiao fight Matthysse than seeing him fight Alvarado on April 14. Alvarado was a good fighter 6 years ago, but he’s so far gone at this point. It’s going to make Pacquiao look bad just by fighting him

.Pacquiao could fight Matthysse in April or May if Arum was to make that fight, but that’s probably not going to happen. Arum wants Pacquiao to fight his Top Rank fighter Alvarado, and it looks like he’s going to get his way. Matthysse won the WBA 147 lb. title in stopping Tewa Kirim in the 8th round. Matthysse would a far better fight for the Horn vs. Crawford card on April 14th than the Pacquiao-Alvarado match. Arum isn’t saying that he’s going to make an effort to give Pacquiao is a wish of facing Matthysse.

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