Manny Pacquiao’s return to the ring will include a massive undercard featuring two world title fights.
Pacquiao will be fighting WBA “regular” champion Lucas Matthysse on July 15 iat the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (July 14 in United States time) in Pacquiao’s first fight in more than a year.
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, WBA “regular” light flyweight champion Carlos Canizales will defend his title against Lu Bin. Lu Bin fought for China in the 2016 Summer Olympics and turned pro last year, having only fought once so far in his career. If Bin defeats Canizales and wins the WBA title, he would break the record for fewest pro fights fought to win a world title as the record is three fights set by Vasiliy Lomachenko and Saensak Muangsurim.
In the other world title bout on the undercard, Moruti Mthalane will face Muhammad Waseem for the vacant IBF flyweight title. The title was vacated by Donnie Nietes in a quest to win a world title in a fourth weight class. Since the IBF does not have fighters ranked No. 1 and No. 2 at flyweight, the title fight went to Mthalane as he is ranked No. 3 and Waseem as he is ranked No. 5. Andrew Selby, who is ranked No. 4, is recovering from a leg injury that caused him to miss a fight in April with the vacant European title on the line.
The welterweight title fight that is headlining the event in Malaysia was originally slated to be broadcast in the United States on ESPN pay-per-view. MP Promotions, who is handling the event, missed a critical deadline to have the fight be on pay-per-view. The fight could still be shown on either ESPN television or on the ESPN+ streaming service.