MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao is out to prove he is not yet done in boxing.
The Filipino boxer is gunning for an 11th world title when he locks horns with Lucas Matthysse, the World Boxing Association (WBA) regular welterweight champion, as the headliner for the "Fight of Champions" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 15.
At 39 years old, Pacquiao (59-7-2) is believed to have lost the power and speed he has been known for on the way to being the only boxer to win titles in 8 different weight divisions.
The pride of Sarangani province has lost 4 of his last 9 fights, starting with back-to-back defeats from Timothy Bradley (split decision) and Juan Manuel Marquez (knockout) in 2012. He surrendered unanimous decision verdicts to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2016 and to Jeff Horn last July.
All of Pacquiao's last 5 wins came via unanimous decision and he has yet to score a victory through stoppage since he pulled off a technical knockout win over Miguel Cotto in 2009.
But against Matthysse (39-4), "Pac Man" wants to make a statement.
"My time is not done yet. [I want] to prove this coming July 15 that Manny Pacquiao is not done in boxing," said Pacquiao.
"I will do my best to win. If I have a chance to finish it right away, I will finish it."
It will not be an easy task against the 35-year-old Argentinian, however.
Matthysse is a bona fide knockout artist who has not gone the distance 36 times in his 39 wins.
While he will be fighting the relatively younger Matthysse, who has expressed his desire to put his opponent in retirement, Pacquiao remains unfazed.
"Hanging gloves? I don't know yet. But in my life, I never think negative, I always think positive. That makes me focused. But whatever happens, of course, I will accept it. That's a part of sports but I think we will win," Pacquiao said.
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.