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

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,