MANILA - World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion Lucas Martin Matthysse is set to arrive in Manila on Wednesday (April 18) to kick off the promotion for his fight against Manny Pacquiao at the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom.
Dubbed 'Fight of Champions,' the card set at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on July 14 and featuring three other world title fights will serve as Pacquiao's debut as a fight promoter.
"It is all systems go for the card," said Pacquiao ahead of the two-city press conference and media tour ending in Kuala Lumpur on April 20.
Pacquiao said he is excited to promote the biggest fight card in Malaysia since the Muhammad Ali-Joe Bugner fight in Kuala Lumpur in July 1975.
"We have assembled the biggest fight card Malaysia has been waiting for in the last 43 years since Ali-Bugner," added Pacquiao.
Matthysse, the dangerous 36-year-old champion from Argentina who tallied 36 knockouts out of his 39 wins against only four losses, has started training with Joel Diaz.
Diaz also used to train Timothy Bradley, who Pacquiao faced twice in the past.
“This is the fight I have always wanted. The opportunity to fight a future Hall of Famer such as Manny Pacquiao inspires me to work harder than ever to earn a victory for my fans. I know that it will not be easy. But I will defend my title with honor and represent my country Argentina with pride,” said Matthysse.
Pacquiao is also set to welcome Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar Dela Hoya, the promoter of Matthysse.
"This early, we would like to thank the people who have made this event happen and I thank all boxing fans for their support," said Pacquiao.
Pacquiao will be joined by his new promotions team along with trainers Restituto "Buboy" Fernandez and Raides "Nonoy" Neri.