Manny Pacquiao will likely return to the ring in May or June, but it will not be against Mike Alvarado. The Filipino boxing icon said that he has two potential opponents on his shortlist.
Pacquiao was linked to a possible showdown with Alvarado on April 14, but the former pound-for-pound king confirmed that the fight will not push through. Instead, he and his camp are now considering facing Danny Garcia or Lucas Matthysse, according to ABS-CBN Sports.
Matthysse has been on the mix for Pacquiao's next fight over the past several weeks. The 35-year-old Argentine became an ideal opponent for Pacquiao after scoring an eighth-round knockout win over Tewa Kiram in January to capture the vacant World Boxing Association welterweight title.
Matthysse told BoxingScene that he wants to face Pacquiao in his next fight. Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's Hall of Fame trainer, also gave a thumbs up on the potential Pacquiao-Matthysse bout. The veteran trainer admitted that both fighters are past their prime, but he is confident that they can give fans an action-packed showdown.
On the other hand, Garcia was also previously linked to Pacquiao. Garcia also expressed desire to face the Filipino boxing legend in 2016, but no deal was reached after he reportedly declined to accept an offer from Arum. However, Arum fired back, saying that he did not talk to Garcia and his camp about possible showdown with Pacquiao.
Garcia recently bounced back from the first defeat of his career. The Philadelphia native, who owns a 34-1 record with 20 knockouts, scored a ninth-round stoppage win against Brandon Rios last month in Las Vegas. The impressive victory came a year after taking a split decision loss to Keith Thurman.
Pacquiao said that he will take time before making a decision. The former eight-division world champion also revealed that the fight is unlikely to happen in the United States. He revealed that his comeback fight will likely take place in Malaysia, saying that a group in the country expressed interest in hosting the bout.
Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum also confirmed to BoxingScene that there is a group in Malaysia trying to put up money for Pacquiao's comeback fight. He also added that there is another interested group in China. Arum is open to the idea of staging the fight in Asia as long as there is enough money on the table.
Pacquiao, who turned 39-years-old in December, holds a 59-7-2 record with 38 knockout victories. He has not fought since absorbing a controversial unanimous decision loss to Jeff Horn in July last year in Brisbane, Australia.