Awaiting Pacquiao’s ring return
SACRAMENTO—Manny Pacquiao trusts Bob Arum to keep the trains running.
But the promoter appears to be sleeping at the switch.
Pacquiao’s next bout has been under wraps or in limbo for sometime.
Although Arum broke his silence recently and said
Pacman’s ring return could be finalized a week from February 5, nothing has been heard from him since.
The impressario has expected that Pacquiao, idled from the ring since losing his WBO welterweight belt to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane on July 2, would fight again soon. And it would be in New York for the first time, at the Madison Square Garden no less in a pay-per-view card on April 14.
The ESPN PPV promotion is being planned by Arum to be his first with the giant sports network. The twin bill is also supposed to pit two fighters on Pacquiao’s wish list for a comeback bout—his tormentor Horn and unbeaten former four-belt junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 knockouts) would rather tangle with either, but would likely fight anybody Arum lines up for him.
The listed opponent the fighting senator would face is Mike Alvarado (38-4 26 KOs), a former junior welterweight challenger who at 37 is also not a spring chicken any longer but has won four bouts in a row over lesser opponents.
Sportswriter Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported that “there should be deserved scoffing at the light assignment for Pacquiao” in the person of Alvarado.
Pugmire said “the better choice would’ve been newly belted champion Lucas Matthysse” who is handled by Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions that Arum hasn’t contacted.
The 35-year old Matthysse won by technical knockout over Tewa Kiram last month to claim the vacant WBA world welterweight title.
The Argentinian knockout artist (39-4 KOs) called out Pacquiao before a partisan crowd at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood after his victory over Kiram of Thailand who was fighting in America for the first time.
That said, the bout with Alvarado instead of Matthysse “through a matchmaker’s eyes … could allow Pacquiao to score his first knockout victory since 2009,” Pugmire wrote.
According to Pugmire, the match up with Alvarado “could produce more enthusiasm for a possible showdown later this year against the favored Crawford, who is ranked No. 1 in The Times’ pound-for-pound ratings.”
From “La La Land” to Cleveland. Filipino American point guard Jordan Clarkson, traded by Los Angeles to Cleveland on Thursday led a quartet of new Cavaliers in helping defeat the Boston Celtics in impressive fashion, 121-99, on Sunday.
Clarkson led Cleveland’s second unit with 17 points—7-of-11 from the floor, including 3-of-4 treys. He added three boards, an assist and a pair of steals as the Cavs spoiled Paul Pierce’s jersey retirement at Boston’s TD Garden.
The Celtics could have fielded Pierce in uniform as the Cavs splurged in the last three quarters to embarrass Kyrie Irving and the Celts on national TV.
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