LUCAS Matthysse issued the challenge and Manny Pacquiao was more than willing to give in.
The boxing superstar and Philippine Senator agreed to face the Argentinian champion as they battle for the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 24.
The first celebrated world title fight to be held in the Malaysian capital in the last 43 years will be co-staged by the MP Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions of Oscar Dela Hoya.
The bout was confirmed in an official statement by Pacquiao’s top media liason officer Aquilles Zonio late Thursday night.
The 35-year-old Matthysse won the vacant WBA title last January 28 with an eighth round stoppage of Thailand’s Tewa Kiram at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Shortly after, he was vocal enough to say he wants to face the 39-year-old next.
“I’m looking at Manny Pacquiao or a rematch with Danny Garcia,” said Matthysse. “Those are the big fights I want.”
Pacquiao, the only fighter to win world titles in eight weight divisions, was listening and gracious enough to accept the challenge.
"I like his aggressive fighting style. That's what I want, to entertain the boxing fans," said Pacquiao in choosing the Argentinian for his opponent in his comeback fight after almost a year of absence in the ring.
"Besides, Matthysse is not a dirty fighter and I highly respect him for that."
This will be the first fight for Pacquiao (59-7-2, 39 KOs) since yielding his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown against Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia last July 2.
Both Pacquiao and Matthysse will be going around Asia as part of the promo tour to hype the fight – the first biggest boxing bout to be held in the Malaysian capital since the late great Muhammad Ali scored a unanimous decision against Joe Bugner to retain his heavyweight titles in June of 1975.
The Filipino boxing great said his team will set out for Kuala Lumpur on March 22 for the official start of the promo tour that will also take them to key Asian cities such as Beijing, Tokyo, Macau, and Hong Kong.