DON’T look now, but Manny Pacquiao could be heading to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur when he makes his ring comeback this summer.
A close confidante of the boxing legend said the 39-year-old Pacquiao is looking to fight for the first time in Malaysia either on April 29 or May 5 against an opponent to be named soon by the camp of the eight-time world division champion.
“Yung opponent hindi pa puwedeng sabihin. He told me the fight will either be on April 29 or May 5 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,” said the source.
That development means Pacquiao will be passing up on fighting in the undercard of the Jeff Horn-Terrence Crawford World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title fight on April 14 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
According to Pacquiao's media chief Aquiles Zonio, the boxing great felt ‘insulted’ by Top Rank Promotions’ decision to make Pacquiao’s comeback fight a mere undercard in the Horn-Crawford championship match.
Zonio said Pacquiao’s decision to turn down the Top Rank offer to fight former world champion Mike Alvarado has certainly nothing to do with a reported conflict in schedule involving his Senate duties.
“The Senate is on break from March 23 to May 14,” Zonio pointed out.
“The main reason was he felt insulted by the decision of (Bob) Arum to use him as undercard in the scheduled Crawford-Horn title fight in April.”
Pacquiao lost to Horn by unanimous decision to yield his WBO welterweight belt in their fight at the Suncorp Stadium in Australia last July.
The Filipino has not fought since.
There were talks of a possible rematch with Horn but the fight never materialized. The Australian has since defended his title against Gary Corcoran in an 11th-round TKO win in Brisbane last December, and is poised to get his biggest money fight against the unbeaten Crawford next month.