Manny Pacquiao eyes next fight in Malaysia in May or June

Manny Pacquiao will be aiming for the 60th win of his career. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Manny Pacquiao eyes next fight in Malaysia in May or June

MANILA: Philippine boxing idol Manny Pacquiao said his next opponent would be either world champion Lucas Matthysse or Danny Garcia in Malaysia in May or June, after rejecting an undercard offer to face Mike Alvarado.
Pacquiao told ABS-CBN television in an interview aired Tuesday that his camp had narrowed the choices down to World Boxing Association welterweight champion Matthysse, of Argentina, or the American former WBA super-welterweight and World Boxing Council welterweight champ Garcia, who was unbeaten until last year.
“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,” said Pacquiao, who is also a senator.
Last week Pacquiao, 39, rejected an offer to fight on the undercard of the Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford fight in the US in April.
Pacquiao, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, previously said he was eyeing an April date with Ukraine’s World Boxing Organization superfeatherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko during a break from his senatorial duties.
Asked why he would fight in Malaysia, Pacquiao said “because those in Malaysia appealed to also have a fight there.”
Pacquiao is a national hero in the Philippines but there have been growing questions about whether the aging boxer can still command the mammoth paydays that his fights used to earn.
He lost his WBO welterweight title to the Australian Horn last year to leave his record standing at 59 wins, seven losses and two draws, and is now in the twilight of his career.
The Filipino southpaw retired briefly in 2016 but made a comeback to retake his WBO title from Jessie Vargas just months later. He has not scored a knockout win in the past eight years.
In January, Pacquiao rejected calls to retire for good, adding he did not believe his recent losses tarnished his record.
He parlayed his sporting fame to get elected to the influential Senate in 2016 and has had to juggle his training and matches with his legislative schedule.
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Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

Updated 25 March 2019
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Godolphin happy with Thunder Snow ahead of Dubai World Cup defense

  • Five-year old bidding to become first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups.
  • $12 million race takes place at Meydan on Saturday.

LONDON: Thunder Snow is preparing well as he bids to become the first horse to win back-to-back Dubai World Cups, according to Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
The five-year-old memorably won the showcase $12 million race at Meydan by five and three-quarter lengths, winning in a track record time last year. He returned to the track on Super Saturday two weeks ago, finishing second in the Group 1 Al-Maktoum Challenge Round Three.
And Godolphin are expecting big things from him in the famous race. Bin Suroor, the most successful handler in the history of the 2000m dirt feature with eight winners to his name, is feeling confident.
“He did his final serious piece of work on Saturday and went very well indeed,” the Godolphin trainer said. “He needed his Super Saturday outing — his first run since November — badly and has come on a lot for it. We expect him to run a big race under conditions we know suit him, but obviously it is a good race.”
Thunder Snow has already made history as the only horse to win both the Group 2 UAE Derby and Group 1 Dubai World Cup, but if he is to win this Saturday then he will be revered for years to come.
One of his big rivals in the race will be Yoshida. Trained by Bill Mott he arrived in Dubai on March 19 in preparation for the cash-rich race. The Japanese-bred son of Heart’s Cry landed in the Emirate off a sixth-place finish in the inaugural Group 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational at Gulfstream Park.
He won the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, as well as the prestigious Woodward at Saratoga last year and Riley Mott, assistant to his father Bob, said Yoshida is looking good ahead of the big race.
“He’s settled in really well,” he said. “He traveled great and we’re very happy with him. The facilities here are top class. This is my seventh time over here and we’re treated very well.”
Yoshida went out just after 7:00 a.m. in Monday to stretch his legs over the famous dirt track.
“He just had a routine gallop this morning and we let him stand in the gate. Nothing too serious,” Mott said.
Jose Ortiz, who has piloted Yoshida though his last two starts and was aboard for the Grade 1 score at Churchill Downs, will make his first appearance in Dubai. Mott said he expects Ortiz, who guided Yoshida to a closing fourth-place effort in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, will have plenty of options in the 2000m race.
“It sounds like there’s a lot of pace from the local horses, but we have a horse that’s pretty versatile in the way he runs,” Mott said. “He’s able to adapt to the pace scenario. It’s just a matter of how the race develops in front of him.”