Manila Bulletin

Matthysse headed for California training camp

- By NICK GIONGCO

Argentine Lucas Matthysse is embarking on a career-defining fight and is looking to make heads turn when he defends the World Boxing Associatio­n (WBA) welterweig­ht crown against Manny Pacquiao on July 15 in Malaysia.

Speaking to the media in his native Argentina, Matthysse swears he will push himself to the limit when he starts training camp in Indio, California in the coming weeks.

Noted trainer Joel Diaz is keenly awaiting the 35-year-old Matthysse’s arrival in Southern California.

Training camp proper might kick off even before May as Matthysse will be touring Manila and Kuala Lumpur on April 18 and 20 to drumbeat the event set to take place at the 16,000-capacity Axiata Arena in the Malaysian capital.

Diaz, who had also trained Tim Bradley, believes Matthysse’s hunger will propel him to victory.

Besides, Pacquiao, who will turn 40 in December, is already past his prime.

Matthysse won the WBA 147-lb title last January by knocking out Tewa Kiram of Thailand.

Pacquiao hasn’t fought since losing on a controvers­ial decision to Jeff Horn in July last year in Brisbane.

Armed with a 59-7-2 win-lossdraw record, Pacquiao wants to use the Matthysse showdown as a stepping stone to a slambang clash with Vasyl Lomachenko towards the end of 2018.

Matthysse, who boasts of a 39-4 card with 35 KOs, has genuine plans to spoil that and rain on Pacquiao’s planned parade.

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