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Pacquiao has other options

By Nick Giongco

KUALA LUMPUR – As Manny Pacquiao’s chartered Philippine Airlines jet flew back to the Philippines on Monday, talks began to swirl about what’s on the horizon for the newly-crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight king.

Pacquiao rattled off some names and Vasyk Lomachenko of Ukraine, the WBA lightweight ruler, was one of them.

The fast-rising Lomachenko, like Pacquiao, is under Bob Arum’s Top Rank, but it doesn’t sound like Lomachenko is itching to leave the 135-lb ranks.

Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager, tokd Yahoo Sports that his fighter is staying put at lightweight and they won’t even think about a catchweight fight with Pacquiao, who reintroduced himself as an elite fighter after dismantling Lucas Matthysse Sunday at the Axiata Arena.

Klimas’s message was loud and clear.

“We have no interest (in fighting Pacquiao),” Klimas said.

For a Pacquio fight to happen, the 39-year-old legend has to go down drastically in weight.

“Pacquiao can make 135, to come in and compete for (Lomachenko’s) WBA title, Vasyl is the champion in that weight class, it’s a possibility. If we are talking 137 and 136, no, there will be no catch weight. If he wants to challenge, he needs to come down. We are not looking to go to 140 pounds. If Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Lomachenko, he can make 135 pounds, Klimas said.

With Lomachenko probably out of the running, Pacquiao is left with a few more choices, including ex-stablemate Amir Khan of England, Terence Crawford of the US and Danny Garcia of Puerto Rico.