Manny Pacquiao may have rejected an offer to fight on the April 14 Top Rank boxing card, but he has other fight plans in mind in the coming months.
In an interview with ABS-CBN, Pacquiao said he is exploring his options for his next fight and that his next fight will take place in Malaysia either in May or June, depending on his schedule.
"Definitely, Malaysia is where we will fight. If not May, this coming June, maybe third week of June, so the preparation will not conflict with my work," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao has not fought since losing the WBO welterweight title to Jeff Horn in Australia last summer. Pacquiao was supposed to fight Horn last November in a rematch, but Pacquiao withdrew from the fight after he revealed that his work schedule as a senator in the Philippines prevented Pacquiao from fully dedicating his time to train for the fight. Since then, Horn successfully defended his title against Gary Corcoran and is currently scheduled to fight Terence Crawford on that April 14 card. Pacquiao was offered a spot on the Horn vs. Crawford undercard in a fight against Mike Alvarado, but he rejected the offer.
The former world champion has fought in several Asian countries, such as China, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines, but never in Malaysia. According to a recent Boxingscene.com report, Bob Arum said that a group of investors approached Arum about the possibility of Pacquiao fighting in Malaysia.
If Pacquiao were to fight in May or June, it would not be against the winner of the Horn vs. Crawford. One potential name could be WBA "regular" welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse, whom Pacquiao has previously stated that he would be interested in fighting.