Pacquiao, Mathysse face off in 'Fight of Champions' Press Tour
Santino Honasan on Apr 18, 2018 04:13 PM
Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Mathysse pose for the cameras.
Eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines and Lucas Mathysse of Argentina faced off for the first time they kicked off the pre-fight festivities for the upcoming Fight of Champions card in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this coming July 15th.
Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO) will be challenging Mathysse (39-4-1NC, 36 KO) for the WBA Welterweight World Title in the main event.
The 39-year old Filipino boxer-turned-senator will be coming off a controversial twelve-round unanimous decision loss to Jeff Horn in Australia back in July of last year. Now, he sets his sights on his 60th career win, and most especially the WBA [Regular] Welterweight World Championship.
“We want to let the people know that this fight in Kuala Lumpur is going to be a good fight, we chose to pick Mathysse because I believe that he’s a tough opponent, he’s an aggressive fighter and we will create more action in the ring than the fighter before.” Pacquiao said during the presser. “We guarantee the people that they will enjoy this fight because of his style and my style.”
Mathysse, the 35-year old Argentinian, is coming off his first world title win, knocking out Thailand’s Tewa Kiram for the vacant WBA crown back in January and will be defending his title for the first time against the biggest name he’s ever faced.
“It’s a great honor for me to be fighting against Manny Pacquiao. It’s my first time to defend my title, which was very hard to obtain, and I’m going to defend it to the death. It’s going to be a great fight, both fighters are very aggressive,” said a confident Matthyse.
Aside from fighting for a world championship, the event will mark Pacquiao's first time as a boxing promoter, with his MP Promotions banner working with fellow boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions.
It will also be MP Promotions’ first international venture.
“There are plenty of opportunities for us to discover new boxing talent, this is the reason why I have decided to take matters into my own hands and finally decided to stage my own fights with the MP Promotions, my very own promotional company.” Pacquiao said, addressing the media as a promoter. “With the help of my business partners, I believe that there is so much we can do to uplift the spirits of our Asian boxers, in order for them to shine globally.”
In line with this, aside form the Pacquiao-Mathysse world title bout, the Fight of Champions card in Kuala Lumpur will feather an IBO Featherweight World Title bout between unbeaten Cebuano rising star Jhack Tepora and Mexican Edivaldo Ortega.
Juan Miguel Elorde, the grandson of boxing legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, will also be on the card, along with fellow pinoys Jayar Inson of Davao, and Vincent Astrolabio of General Santos.
China’s Lu Bin will also be contending for the WBA Light Flyweight World Championship against Venezuelan Carlos Canizales, while Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem meets South African Moruti Mthalane for the vacant IBF Flyweight World Championship, which was most recently held by the longest reigning Filipino boxing world champion Donnie Nietes.
“We want to rekindle the glory days of boxing in Asia,” Pacquiao added.
Fight of Champions will take place on Sunday, July 15th at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.