Eager Pacquiao ‘can’t wait’ to take Matthysse world title

Manny Pacquiao has not fought since he was defeated on points by Australia's Jeff Horn last July, a loss that cost the Philippine icon his World Boxing Organization crown
AFP

Manila (AFP) – Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday he “can’t wait” for a crack at another world title as Lucas Matthysse’s promoter confirmed the Argentine will stake his belt against the Filipino in Kuala Lumpur in July.

Promoter Oscar De La Hoya announced on Twitter in the US that the contest was now confirmed.

“Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion @MatthysseLucas will put his title on the line against @mannypacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia on Saturday night July 14 (US time),” De La Hoya said Monday.

Pacquiao then went onto his on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts to respond.

“It’s on! Can’t wait to challenge Lucas Matthysse for another world title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia – July 14 US time,” said Pacquiao. 

Both announcements misspelled Malaysia.

The De La Hoya announcement appeared to clear lingering doubts about the contest taking place since the Filipino icon, winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in different weight divisions, first announced the contest last month.

Pacquiao, 39, had said the fight against Matthysse would take place on June 24.

Pacquiao, an elected senator in the Philippines, has not fought in the ring since being defeated on points by Australia’s Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his World Boxing Organization crown.

The 35-year-old Matthysse, who has 39 wins including 36 by knockout against four defeats, won the vacant World Boxing Association belt after beating Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.

“This is going to be a tough fight. Matthysse is also a knockout artist,” Pacquiao had said last month.

“I’m the underdog in this fight but I’m used to it. It serves as a big motivation for me to train and fight hard to win the crown,” he added.

Pacquiao has 59 wins to his name including 38 KOs against seven defeats and two draws. His last victory inside the distance was back in 2009.

Meanwhile the Pacquiao camp announced Tuesday that Wednesday’s joint press conference with De La Hoya and Matthysse in Manila to announce the fight had been moved back a week tentatively to April 11. No venue has been set.

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