Argentine welterweight champion Lucas Martin Matthysse will formally accept eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao’s challenge in Manila on April 18.
The World Boxing Association titlist will attend the press conference of the “Fight of Champions” at the Grand Ballroom of City Of Dreams Manila, marking Pacquiao’s debut as a promoter through his MP Promotions.
Another press conference is scheduled in Kuala Lumpur on April 20, where the fight will be staged at Axiata Arena on July 15.
“It’s all systems go for the Pacquiao versus Matthysse fight,” said Pacquiao, who is hoping to approximate the success of the Muhammad Ali-Joe Bugner fight which was also held in the Malaysian capital on July 1, 1975.
“We have assembled the biggest fight card Malaysia has been waiting for in the last 43 years since Ali-Bugner,” said Pacquiao, noting that three other world title bouts will be in the undercard.
The 36-year-old Matthysse is regarded as a knockout artist, having stopped 36 of his 39 victims against only four losses.
Like Pacquiao, Matthysse has started light training with Joel Diaz, also the trainer of former world champion Timothy Bradley Jr., whom Pacquiao battled thrice—losing once in anomalous fashion.
“This is the fight I have always wanted. The opportunity to fight a future Hall of Famer such as Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. He inspires me to work harder than ever to earn a victory for my fans,” Matthysse said in a statement. “I know that it will not be easy.”
Matthysse will be accompanied by Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya, the former poster boy of boxing.
“This early, we would like to thank the people who have made this event happen and I thank fans for their support,” said Pacquiao, who will be joined by his new trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri.
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