Boxing is certainly alive and well in 2018, and some of the biggest names in the sport are getting lined up with marquee matchups.
The sport’s only eight-division world champion, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO’s) is rumored to be announcing his next fight in the coming weeks.
“We’re going over contracts with four guys that we handle, and everything’s coming along nicely,” said Top Rank chief Bob Arum in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
The 39-year-old Filipino boxing legend hasn’t fought since July of 2017, when he dropped a unanimous decision verdict to little known Jeff Horn of Australia. Since then, Pacquiao has been going back and forth on whether to exercise his right to a rematch with Horn, although the Filipino boxer looks to be moving on.
A few big names have popped up for Pacquiao, with former junior welterweight title challenger Mike Alvarado (38-4, 26 KO’s) and newly-crowned WBA welterweight champion Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO’s) emerging as front runners.
Both Alvarado and Matthysse are known for their aggressiveness rather than defensive skill, which should make for exciting matchups.
Meanwhile, Top Rank is also looking to pit pound-for-pound king and WBO super featherweight champ Vasyl “Hi Tech” Lomachenko (10-1, 8KO’s) against WBA lightweight titleholder Jorge Linares (44-3, 27KO’s).
“We love the fight and we’re open to it, but in order for him to make the fight, he [Arum] is going to have to go through us and he can call us anytime,” said Golden Boy President Eric Gomez. “He’s been told to call us.”
Lomachenko was last seen delivering his most significant victory to date, a 6th round technical knockout victory over then highly-regarded Cuban Olympic gold medalist and super bantamweight champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux.
Lomachenko was also rumored to be in talks to fight Pacquiao a couple of weeks ago, but the Ukrainian fighter had denied that negotiations were taking place as a bout with Pacquiao is not something that he could benefit from.