While continuing to serve as a senator in the Philippines, Pacquiao recently announced that he would be fighting Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia on June 24.
The Filipino's trainer Restituto Fernandez said he expects the Kuala Lumpur bout, to be "a real brawl because Matthysse is an aggressive fighter". Matthysse is also a knockout artist.
But before presiding over the final news conference on Thursday for the Oscar Valdez-Scott Quigg featherweight world title fight that will take place Saturday night on ESPN at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, Arum told ESPN there was no deal yet and that he didn't believe it would happen.
The co-promotion signals an apparent break with long-time USA promoter Bob Arum - who reportedly warned that the card was not a done deal. That fight would have been the co-main event to Horn's WBO welterweight title defense against Terence Crawford, but Pacquiao rejected Top Rank's offer, electing to go another route for another fight and then declaring he would fight in Malaysia in June. "[But] I'm not booking my flight [to Malaysia] yet".
Eric Gomez, Golden Boy Promotions president, admitted that Pacquiao's adviser Michael Koncz had contacted him about a possible Pacquiao-Matthysse fight.
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Even though many people, even some of his most loyal fans of Filipino descent (this writer included) would like to see him retire, Manny Pacquiao hasn't stepped away from boxing just yet. "[Matthysse is] not a dirty fighter".
Representatives for Pacquiao, who has won world titles in a record eight weight divisions, did not respond to Arum's comments when approached by AFP.
Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs), 35, a big puncher from Argentina, claimed a vacant secondary welterweight title on January 27 with an eighth-round knockout of Thailand's obscure Tewa Kiram.
This will be the 39-year-old Pacquiao's first fight since losing a controversial decision to Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July.