Manny Pacquaio ready to rumble in front of expected sellout crowd in Malaysia against defending champion Lucas Matthysse.
Philippines boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has declared war when he takes on Argentinian Lucas Matthysse in the highly-anticipated WBA Welterweight Championship title fight in Kuala Lumpur on July 15.
“I want to make sure in this fight, we can compete by changing punches and not just dancing around the ring,” said Pacquaio at the press conference in Malaysia’s capital on Friday.
“We are here to entertain the fans, and make sure their money is worth this fight.”
Pacquiao, fondly known as ‘Pac Man’, is looking to shake off the cobwebs after not fighting competitively for almost a year, since he lost to Australian Jeff Horn last July.
But the southpaw, who is also a Senator of the Philippines, is still touted to have the upper hand against his South American defending welterweight champion.
Pacquiao has won eight titles in a record eight weight divisions, with 59 victories (38 knockouts), two draws and seven losses to his name.
The Filipino icon is very much an offensive boxer, known for his quick footwork and trailblazing left hooks.
Even at 39, four years senior of Matthysse, Pacquaio feels age will not be a factor in this bout.
“It’s not about the number, not about the age. I still have a couple more fights in me before I retire. But I need to be disciplined and I will get to work right after this press conference,” said Pacquiao.
“It was difficult to train intensely because I am a politician, a public servant. But we have a long vacation in the senate from June to the last Monday of July, so I will start my training immediately.”
“My opponent is someone who is aggressive and will fight toe to toe. So I have to be at my best.”
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) April 18, 2018
One unifying factor in the Pac-Man corner is the die-hard support from his fellow Filipinos.
The country is known to come to a standstill each time Pacquiao fights, with crime rates also dropping significantly.
“Every fight that I had, millions of Filipinos will be supporting me. The people of Philippines are united in supporting me, even if we have differences in our (political) beliefs.” he added.
For Matthysse, the chance to fight Pacquaio is once in a lifetime, and he’s even asked for a rematch.
“Pacquaio is a living legend, and I could not pass up the opportunity to fight him. It would mean so much to my career to win this fight,” said Matthysse.
“I am a big puncher with both hands, and I am going to work in the gym with confidence.”
Matthysse boasts a record of 39 wins with 36 knockouts in 43 matches.
The bout, at the Axiata Arena, takes places 43 years after the historic fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner in the Malaysian capital.
Tickets for the Pacquaio-Matthysse showdown will go on sale from April 21.