Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pacquiao announces Matthysse Malaysia fight, but doubts emerge

Pacquiao announces Matthysse Malaysia fight, but doubts emerge

Manny Pacquiao has announced a world title fight against Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia. AFP
Manny Pacquiao has announced a world title fight against Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia. AFP

Pacquiao announces Matthysse Malaysia fight, but doubts emerge

Manny Pacquiao announced a world title fight against Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia, but doubts quickly emerged today over the self-promoted bout.

Pacquiao, 39, called himself the “underdog” for the June 24 fight against Matthysse, the World Boxing Association welterweight champion from Argentina.

“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,” Pacquiao said in a statement.

“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,” added the Filipino great.

Pacquiao said that, unusually, he will be co-promoting the fight along with Golden Boy Promotions, which represents the 35-year-old Matthysse.

It signals an apparent break with long-time US promoter Bob Arum – who reportedly warned that the Kuala Lumpur card was not a done deal.

“Matthysse is one of the guys that Manny is thinking about fighting. There are others,” Arum told boxingscene.com.

“The Malaysia part is up in the air. I don’t know these Malaysian people. If they put up the money, it’ll happen, happily. But do I know whether the money will be put up? No, I don’t,” Arum added.

Representatives for Pacquiao, who has won world titles in a record eight weight divisions, did not respond to Arum’s comments when approached.

But ESPN also quoted Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, as saying talks were at a “very preliminary” stage.

‘Aggressive fighting style’

Last year, Arum correctly cast doubt over Pacquiao’s announcement that he would fight British boxer Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates.

Ultimately, Pacquiao accepted Arum’s offer to face Australia’s Horn, a former schoolteacher, who snatched his WBO welterweight title in a stunning upset.

Pacquiao has already rejected an Arum offer to fight in Las Vegas on an undercard beneath Horn, who will be facing Terence Crawford on April 14.

Press reports said the Pacquiao camp considered the offer an “insult”.

If the fight goes ahead, it could be tough against the aggressive Matthysse, who has 39 wins – all but three of them via the short route – against four losses.

“I like his aggressive fighting style. That’s what I want, to entertain the boxing fans,” said Pacquiao, who is an elected Philippine senator.

Pacquiao trainer Restituto Fernandez also said he expects the Kuala Lumpur bout to be “a real brawl because Matthysse is an aggressive fighter”.

Southpaw Pacquiao, winner of 59 bouts against seven losses and two draws, has enjoyed a glittering, 23-year pro career, but he has not knocked out a rival since 2009.

He retired briefly in 2016 but made a comeback to retake his WBO title from Jessie Vargas just months later – before losing his belt to Horn a year later.

MOST VIEWED

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will

  • Cambodia to remain neutral on ASEAN-China territorial dispute

    Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn told an informal meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers on Wednesday that Cambodia will stay neutral on the South China Sea. He appealed to all stakeholders to continue fostering a conducive environment that contributes to the end

  • Keeping it riel, Cambodia steps up de-dollarisation

    The economic downturn has supplied the National Bank of Cambodia with an opportunity to step up its agenda to return the shine on the riel while coping with Covid-19 challenges Late May, an instruction by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) to financial institutions to

  • ANA finds ancient Sanskrit inscription

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has found a Sanskrit inscription carved on ancient stone. The inscription was discovered on the underside of a stone on Wednesday, in front of the Tonle Snguot temple which workers were cleaning. Archaeologist and Apsara Authority deputy-director Im Sok Rithy