Matthysse thinks Pacquiao 'not the same fighter' since KO to Marquez
MANILA, Philippines – Argentinian Lucas Matthysse has only one title and he has no plans of losing it.
Matthysse, the World Boxing Association (WBA) regular welterweight champion, said he will fight "to the death" when he goes for his first title defense against Manny Pacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 15.
"It's my first time defending my title, which was very hard to obtain. I'm going to defend it to the death," said Matthysse through an interpreter during a press conference at the City of Dreams on Wednesday, April 18.
The bout is expected to be a slugfest between the two boxers.
Out of his 39 victories, Matthysse has won 36 via stoppage, the latest coming from his 8th-round knockout of Tera Kiram last January for the vacant WBA regular welterweight belt.
Pacquiao (59-7-2), meanwhile, is itching for his first win through stoppage since his technical knockout triumph over Miguel Cotto in 2009. The Filipino, who has 38 knockouts in his storied boxing career, has lost 4 of his last 9 fights while his last 5 wins came via unanimous decision.
The 35-year-old Matthysse admitted facing Pacquiao is a "dream come true" but said the Filipino's time is done.
"Since the KO of (Juan Manuel) Marquez, I think that he is not the same fighter anymore. He's not at his prime anymore. He's still very, very good but he's not on the same level," said Matthysse.
In their 4th meeting in 2012, Marquez knocked Pacquiao out cold in the 6th round with a vicious right hand punch.
"Manny's won so many titles, he's done so much for boxing. I only won one title and I'm not going to give it up. I'll die for it if I have to so you know, he's got a great history in boxing and this is my time."
The boxing event, dubbed "Fight of Champions," will also feature 3 other world championship title fights, highlighted by the Muhammad Waseem-Moruti Mthalane bout for the International Boxing Federation flyweight belt. – Rappler.com