The boxing legend is aiming for his 9th belt
Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will re-enter the boxing ring on an upcoming bout against Argentinean world champion Lucas Matthysse on July 14. Though the multi-division champ rarely pronounces confidence on his fights, he surely knows his age on this one.
“Mas mabilis naman tayo di hamak sa kaniya. Pero malakas din siya. Champion.”
Translation: “We’re (I’m) notably faster than him (Matthysse). But he’s also a strong fighter. A champion.”
This was Pacquiao’s statement during a recent break in his training camp at his home province in the Philippines. This can be considered a rare show of confidence on Pacman’s 23-year boxing career.
The Filipino fighter is known for his speed
Apparently, this is how Pacquiao plans to advance over Matthysse: use his edge on speed against the 35-year-old fighter. In his successful boxing career over multiple divisions, speed has always been Pacquiao’s main weapon.
It is a strength he gains more edge from compared to his supposed punching power. This is evidenced by his success in the tough 147-pound division where, despite scoring only two knockouts as a welterweight, claimed the pound-for-pound throne because of the one-sided results of all his victories.
After his recent losses, Pacquiao now takes the significant jump to promote his own fight with his very own MP Promotions. Although Top Rank remains Pacquiao’s official promoter, he self-arranged his welterweight fight against Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur.
During the press conference that officially announced his bout against Matthysse, here’s how Pacquiao explained his leap of faith:
“There are plenty opportunities for us to discover new boxing talent. This is the reason I have decided to take matters into my own hands and have finally decided to form MP Promotions – my very own promotional company. With the help of the business partners, I believe there is so much that we can do to lift the spirits of our Asians boxers and for them to shine globally.”
Matthysse is currently on a media break
Matthysse meanwhile, will stay away from the limelight and will not speak to the media until the final press conference sometime on Friday, according to some sources. He aims to spend the rest of fight week maintaining the optimum weight for Sunday’s bout.
The pride of Chubut, Argentina should have no problems making the 147-pound limit in time for the official weigh-in Saturday, and he spent the weekend in Kuala Lumpur putting in some more hard work.
Matthysse is Pacquiao’s first assignment since a disputed decision loss to Australian Jeff Horn in their 12-round WBO world welterweight battle in Brisbane, Australia, in July 2017.