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Arum close to making Pacquiao vs Alvarado fight

Will Manny Pacquiao end up fighting Mike Alvarado in his ring return? | AP photos

MANILA, Philippines – Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum is expecting to soon finalize a deal that would pit Manny Pacquiao against American slugger Mike Alvarado.

Arum plans to hold Pacquiao-Alvarado as part of a double-header card in Las Vegas that would also showcase Terence Crawford clashing with Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn.

The event is planned for April 14 and would be televised on ESPN pay-per-view.

But first, Arum is hoping to get Pacquiao and Alvarado on the same side in terms of the fight contract as soon as possible.

“We’re making progress on it [the deal],” Arum said in a boxingscene.com report by Keith Idec.

“I’m gonna talk to [Pacquiao adviser] Michael [Koncz] tonight and hopefully wrap it all up,” added the veteran promoter.

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Known for his come-forward style, the 37-year-old Alvarado (38-4, with 26 KOs) is the perfect opponent for Pacquiao, who is seeking to bounce back from a loss to Horn last year and get his career back on track.

Among the names that ring a bell on Alvarado’s resume are former Pacquiao opponents Brandon Rios and Juan Manuel Marquez. Alvarado lost to Marquez once, while he went 1-2 in his trilogy with Rios, his two setbacks coming by way of knockout.

He loves to slug it out in the ring, something Pacquiao loves.

But on Wednesday, Pacquiao sang a different tune when he told reporters during a Senate break that he prefers to fight Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse, who was recently crowned the WBA welterweight champion.

Matthysse (39-4, with 36 KOs), who is fresh from a knockout victory over Tewa Kiram to win the title last month, likewise wants Pacquiao and has repeatedly called the Filipino icon out.

Pacquiao will have to clear things up with Arum, who appears to be more keen on Alvarado.

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