Matthysse out to cement ring legacy vs Pacquiao
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Lucas Matthysse isn’t at all intimidated by Manny Pacquiao’s stature as a boxing legend.
Fact is, the Argentine sounded certain of beating the Fighter of the Decade in the 2000s and cementing his ring legacy.
“He is a great champion, but he still hasn’t faced ‘The Machine,’" Matthysse, who's nicknamed “La Maquina,” said days before the Pacquiao-Matthysse duel for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown on Sunday, July 15.
"If he decides to retire after I beat him then that is his decision, I am here to defend my title."
And, if he succeeds, Matthysse said it will not only be for the people of Argentina but also for himself because he “worked hard for it.”
His manager, Mario Arano, and his trainer, Joel Diaz, concurred, baring that Matthysse, who started his preparations in Argentina before undergoing training camp in Indio, California, has never trained as long and hard for a fight and now looks in his best shape possible.(READ: Pacquiao beware! I'm going home with my belt, says Matthysse)
Supremely confident, Arano earlier predicted Matthysse will stop Pacquiao in the 6th or 7th round of the 12-rounder to be shown via livestreaming in the United States through ESPN+ in nearly 200 countries.
Pacquiao, living up to his dual role as the chief promoter of Fight of Champions through his MP Promotions, shrugged off Team Matthysse’s boasts, stressing that his concern is to create more action in the ring to make fight fans happy. (READ: Pacquiao now locked, loaded, ready to fire)
Precisely the reason why he chose Matthysse, a certified knockout artist having stopped 36 of his 39 victims against only 4 losses.
Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya also, unexpectedly, put Pacquiao in a pedestal during Thursday’s press conference. (READ: De La Hoya calls Pacquiao best fighter ever)
Holding no rancor against the man who sent him into retirement with a lopsided beating in 2008, De La Hoya said: "First of all, I want to tell Manny Pacquiao how proud I am of him. Not only because he has become one of the most important legends in the sport of boxing but because he's a legend outside the ring."
"Manny Pacquiao, in the recent history of the sport, has become one of the iconic figures," he added. "He's building bridges between countries, he's attracting the youth to become fighters, to become warriors. He's giving them hope. Manny Pacquiao is doing this through his fists, he's doing it through his heart, he's doing it because he loves to give back."
Boxing's former poster boy also stressed how the Filipino boxing icon has come a long way.
"I remember when I promoted Manny Pacquiao versus Marco Antonio Barrera many years ago. At the time nobody knew who Manny Pacquiao was," De La Hoya recalled. "But after he beat Marco Antonio Barrera, the world knew who Manny Pacquiao was going to become, and that is an eight-time champion in eight divisions, an iconic figure."
"I really feel it was your destiny to become the person that you are today. I salute you, I admire you. It really gives me great pleasure to be with you here today, because Golden Boy Promotions is all about putting the best against the best. And this is what we have here today."
Also present were Pacquiao’s chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, Top Rank COO Brad Jacob, world champion Jerwin Ancajas, the undercard fighters and their managers, and Pacquiao’s mother Dionisia. (READ: Minus Roach, Pacquiao gets a jolt)
The entry of Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, with son Israel, waving a miniature Philippine flag, and daughters Princess and Queenie, caused a stir among the photographers and cameramen, especially when Israel briefly went to his father on stage. – Rappler.com