Pacquiao to challenge Matthysse on June 24 in Kuala Lumpur

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
Pacquiao to challenge Matthysse on June 24 in Kuala Lumpur

Manny Pacquiao will shoot for another world title against WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse.

AP photos

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will be challenging WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse on June 24, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Filipino icon’s camp announced Thursday night.

According to a press release by Pacquiao’s information officer Aquiles Zonio, the fight will be co-promoted by Pacquiao’s MP Promotions and Oscar Dela Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Matthysse.

Pacquiao, who was earlier reported to be eyeing either Matthysse or American Danny Garcia as his comeback opponent, ended up picking the Argentinean.

“I like his (Matthysse’s) aggressive fighting style. That’s what I want, to entertain the boxing fans. Besides, Matthysse is not a dirty fighter and I highly respect him for that,” said the fighting senator.

The 35-year-old Matthysse (39-4, with 36 KOs) won the vacant WBA welterweight strap last January 27 when he knocked out Tewa Kiram at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Pacquiao said the fight will be officially announced on March 22 in Kuala Lumpur, with press tours to follow in major Asian cities, including Beijing, Tokyo, Macau and Hong Kong.

The former eight-division champion plans to hold training camps in General Santos City and Manila. He will kick off training in the middle of April in his hometown of General Santos City. From May 14 to June 1, Pacquiao will train in Manila then will fly back to General Santos City to wrap things up.

Pacquiao, who last saw action in July last year against Jeff Horn, admitted that he will be the underdog against the heavy-handed Matthysse.

“I knew, this is going to be a tough fight. Matthysse is also a knockout artist. But I’m excited to fight and be a world champion again. So, expect me to train hard for this fight,” he added.

“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.”

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