GENERAL SANTOS City — Manny Pacquiao started training at the Wild Card gym here as he goes for an unprecedented 11th world title against WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
After building enough stamina from his cardio workouts earlier in the week, Pacquiao reunited with long-time friends and trainers Buboy Fernandez and Raides “Nonoy” Neri and started slow, doing regular gym drills and plotting pre-fight strategies.
The Pacquiao-Matthysse fight dubbed “Fight of Champions” is set at Axiata Arena in Kuala
Lumpur on July 15.
“I am excited to return to the ring once again and face a dangerous champion in a difficult and challenging fight,” said Pacquiao, the only eight-weight division champion in boxing.
“I am inspired as I am also excited to face the champion,” added Pacquiao, noting that Matthysse packs power on both fists having won 36 of his 39 wins by knockout.
Pacquiao, the 39-year-old challenger, did mitts work with Fernandez. Both started slow and hoped to pick up steam in the middle stages of training camp. In his familiar workout, Pacquiao pounded the heavy bags and finished with his usual abdominal work routine.
Also a senator of the Philippines, Pacquiao is taking full use of the senate recess to train without distractions before resuming work on May 14 to June 1 when the Philippine Senate reconvenes. Then, Pacquiao gets his final push for the whole month of June up until fight day.
Pacquiao is also the promoter of the fight.
Aside from the Pacquiao-Matthysse headliner, three other world title fights are in store in the undercards as well as other intriguing supporting bouts being assembled by Pacquiao’s MP Promotions.