KUALA LUMPUR – It’s going to be “war” in Malaysia as WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse didn’t hide his intentions of defending his championship belt by retiring boxing’s living legend Manny Pacquiao nine days from now here.
Just right after landing from a grueling 18-hour journey from the other side of the Pacific, Matthysse and his team buckled down to work, hitting the gym and tried to shake the effects of jet lag in his system on Thursday evening.
Fight day will be on July 15 at the Axiata Arena with three other world championship fights adding drama to the roadshow presented by Pacquiao’s own MP Promotions.
So focused is Matthysse that he only has Pacquiao on his mind. How to beat the fighting Senator from the Philippines, the only eight-weight division champion of boxing is the only order of business for him.
“Manny Pacquiao. I want to defeat a legendary fighter like Manny. This is not Judah, Alexander, Postol or Garcia,” said Matthysse, who planed in together with manager Mario Arano, trainer Joel Diaz, Golden Boy Promotions PR man Ramiro Gonzalez and three others who are helping out in training.
Matthysse has a 39-4 win-loss record with 36 of these fights ending by spectacular knockouts. Incidentally, (Zab) Judah, (Victor) Postol, (Devon) Alexander and (Danny) Garcia are the only boxers who have beaten the 35-year-old fighter in the past.
For Arano, Matthysse has gotten over these losses and has become a more dangerous and complete fighter since last losing to Postol in 2015.
His lean but mean entourage pales in comparison to Pacquiao’s own team, which will arrive on Monday–a whole plane-load of trainers flying on a chartered flight from General Santos City, including utility persons and fans and supporters.
Matthysse’s early arrival signified his desire to leave nothing behind and ensure victory for Argentina. “This is Manny Pacquiao, and this is the quest for anyone in boxing (to defeat Pacquiao,)” said Matthysse.