Can Filipino icon finally end decade-long KO drought?
KUALA LUMPUR—Manny Pacquiao has said the fight for Lucas Matthysse’s WBA welterweight crown will largely determine how the tail end of his career will shape up.
A victory is expected to push him into another lucrative bout. But it needs to be a big win—in a manner that he hasn’t done in nearly a decade.
Pacquiao is going for his 60th victory since turning pro in 1995, but despite winning 38 of his first 47 fights by knockout, he has not stopped an opponent in nine years.
And he faces a dangerous Matthysse, a knockout specialist who has finished 36 of his 39 wins inside the distance and took the vacant WBA belt after an eighth-round stoppage of Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.
“I’m focused on the fight, the people who watched me train and push myself to the limit can testify to that,” said Pacquiao.
He said that his training camp, the first time in 16 years that wasn’t overseen by Freddie Roach, was unique.
“We pushed it every day. But we also allowed ourselves to rest,” said Pacquiao, who is turning 40 in December. “It’s a series of push and rest to help the body recover.”
Against Matthysse, Pacquiao said he would employ the skill set that brought him fame and glory.
“The plan is to move side to side and throw a lot of punches,” said Pacquiao. “And to finish the fight.” —WITH A REPORT FROM AFP