Friday, July 20, 2018
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Southpaw

Live gate filling up for Pacquiao vs Matthysse

Tickets to Lucas Matthysse’s defense of his regular world welterweight boxing belt against Manny Pacquiao in Kuala Lumpur this Sunday are almost 70 percent sold, the New Straits Times said almost a week ago.

The English language daily also reported that Arnold Vegafria, Sen. Pacquiao’s business associate, bared the figures with a caveat.

Vegafria indicated that ticket sales for the World Boxing Association bout “have attracted interest from the Philippines, China, Indonesia, the United States, United Kingdom and Europe.”

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But the sales and marketing chief of the Filipino ring icon’s MP Promotions admitted that enthusiasm for the fight from Malaysians is “not as encouraging,” prompting organizers to offer “special rate for the tickets.”

In Malaysia, badminton and soccer are kings. And with the football World Cup climaxing at the same time, the locals’ overwhelming sport of choice this weekend is a no-brainer.

There has been no update on the live gate receipts for the undertaking by MP Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and the Malaysian government.

With a few more days to go, the organizers must be hopefully optimistic that the 14,000-seat Axiata Arena within Malaysia’s national sports complex at Bukit Jalil still would be filled in time for that country’s first world boxing title fight in 43 years.

On June 30, 1975 at historic Merdeka Stadium, Muhammad Ali, decisioned Australian Joe Bugner before his classic Thrilla in Manila with Joe Frazier on Oct. 1 of the same year.

The 35-year-old Matthysse, an Argentinian knockout artist with 39 wins on 36 knockouts in 43 matches, will defend against Pacquiao, 39, boxing’s only eight division champion with 59 wins and 38 knockouts.

After a year’s absence, the sitting senator will enter the ring with a new trainer, his best friend Buboy Fernandez, vice his trainer of 16 years, Freddie Roach.

For this fight, Pacquiao also parted ways with his usual promoter Bob Arum, whose outfit, Top Rank, may not be promoting the fight but is handling its American distribution.

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Originally slated to be an ESPN pay-per-view event, the card will stream live on the cable network’s ESPN+ instead.

It will take place in the morning in Malaysia and will stream in the United States at 9 p.m. Eastern time, with undercard coverage.

The fight marks another attempt to lure boxing fans to ESPN’s new app, by allowing them to watch the bout live from KL’s Axiata Arena.

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TAGS: Boxing, Kuala Lumpur, Lucas Matthysse, Manny Pacquiao, Pacquiao Last Fight opinion, Southpaw
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