IT is going to be a midyear ring return for Filipino boxing superstar Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao after it was made official that he will take on Lucas Matthysse of Argentina on July 15 in Malaysia for the World Boxing Association welterweight title.
Golden Boy Promotions founder and president and boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya made the announcement of the final date for the fight on his Twitter account yesterday morning, which later Mr. Pacquiao confirmed also on the social media platform.
“Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion @MatthysseLucas will put his title on the line against @mannypacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night July 14 (US time),” wrote Mr. De La Hoya, who promotes Mr. Matthysse.
“It’s on! Can’t wait to challenge Lucas Matthysse for another world title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — July 14 US time #Pacmanisback,” Mr. Pacquiao no sooner Twitted after.
The fight will be co-promoted by Golden Boy and Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions.
It will see Mr. Pacquiao (58-7-2), also a sitting senator in the country, fight anew after losing to Australian Jeff Horn by unanimous decision in July last year in Brisbane.
The loss saw Mr. Pacquiao lose the World Boxing Organization title.
The eight-division world champion said Mr. Matthysse presents a “tough challenge” to him because of his power and that he is looking forward to facing him in a title fight setup.
Mr. Matthysse (39-4-1), for his part, is riding a two-fight winning streak, the latest of which coming in January this year over Thai Tewa Kiram by way of knockout in the eighth round in Inglewood, California.
For his fight against Mr. Matthysse, reports have it that Mr. Pacquiao’s training will be handled by longtime friend and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez in place of American trainer Freddie Roach.
It was said to be the Filipino star boxer’s “decision” to have Mr. Fernandez on his side for the July 15 fight.
A road show to promote the fight has been set with things commencing here in Manila later this month before moving to Malaysia. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo