Friday, 13 July 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM
Pacman: Judge me by my actions in the ring
KUALA LUMPUR: Manny Pacquiao has only one answer to critics who feels his best days are over as a professional boxer.
“Let my actions in the ring speak for itself.”
This was the Filipino’s crisp reply ahead of the much anticipated fight against WBA world welterweight title holder Lucas Matthysse at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao, the boxing’s only eight-division world champion, will attempt to stop the aggressive Argentine, who is famous for knocking out his opponents.
Matthysse, 35, boasts of winning 36 of his 39 career bouts in knockout.
Pacquiao is nearly halfway through his third decade as a professional boxer and has not fought since July last year when he lost to Australian Jeff Horn on unanimous points decision in Brisbane.
But the fighting senator insists he still has a lot to offer in the ring and hence his decision to choose an opponent with a reputation like Matthysse to fight in KL.
This Sunday’s fight is the second major boxing blockbuster taking place in Malaysia after 43 years.
Muhammad Ali took on British-born Joe Bugner and won at the Merdeka Stadium in KL back in July 1975.
“I choose him (Matthysse) because he is a fighter. A very aggressive fighter,” said Pacquiao, who is considered the greatest sports athlete the Philippines has produced.
“I have taken some time off from my job as a public servant to get ready for this fight.
“There will be plenty of actions in the ring as we will try to make the fans happy.
“My family are also here with me and it’s a great motivation for me too.”
Matthysse is not taking things or granted and has been hitting the training gym specially built for the occasion outside the hotel where his entourage have been staying since last week.
“I came across the world to fight him and I want to bring the title home,” said Matthysse, who arrived earlier than his rival last week.
“I’ve trained hard for the last 120 days and I’m fully prepared to defend my title. It’s important for me to win not just for my country Argentina but also for myself.”
The action this Sunday starts from 8am and will also feature 10 undercard fights as well.
Theena Thayalan (welterweight) and Aiman Abu Bakar (featherweight) will fly the flag for Malaysia, taking on India’s Siddharth Varma and Indonesia’s Abdi Teger respectively.