KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – When Lucas Matthysse first met Manny Pacquiao in Manila on April 18, the Argentine champion was starstruck and even requested for a selfie. When they arrived here two days later, Matthysse found out that he was a shade taller than the Filipino ring icon though they were both listed as 5-foot-6.
Since then, the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champ's demeanor has changed. While he still regards Pacquiao as a legend, Matthysse now thinks he’s a more superior fighter than the Filipino legend.
The Argentine is not even giving the world’s only 8-division world champion any chance of wresting the 147-pound belt from him when they tangle on Sunday, July 15 (July 14 in the US) at Axiata Arena here.
"I’m a hundred percent confident I’ll defend the title," said Matthysse, during the boxers traditional 'Grand Arrival' at the lobby of Le Meridien KL, where they are both billeted.
"I’ve been preparing a long time for this and I feel Malaysia is my home,” added Matthysse, who arrived here on Thursday, July 5, to acclimatize and get used to the time difference. Argentina is nearly 16,000 km away.
“I’m good and I’m ready. I’ve adapted to the time now along with proper rest and training,” he said.
The 35-year-old Matthysse trained at the makeshift gym put up at the hotel Tuesday afternoon, keeping a shroud of secrecy as his handlers, led by chief trainer Joel Diaz, prevented Filipino sportswriters to enter the premises.
After 10 rounds of sparring with Marvin Quintero on Saturday, Matthysse claimed that he has made the weight, through a healthy diet consist of fish, chicken, spaghetti, vegetables and fruits, and will just keep working to maintain it till fight time.
For Sunday, Matthysse intends to retire Pacquiao and to plot his own path toward greatness. – Rappler.com