Manny Pacquiao to fight Lucas Mattysse for WBA welterweight title

Manny Pacquiao to fight Lucas Mattysse for WBA welterweight title

Manny Pacquiao to fight Lucas Mattysse for WBA welterweight title

Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse fight Saturday in Kuala Lumpur for the World Boxing Association World Welterweight Title.

A little more than a year since his last fight, Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring to challenge secondary welterweight world titleholder Lucas Matthysse on July 14 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, both sides said Monday night.

Pacquiao, an elected senator in the Philippines, has not fought in the ring since being defeated on points by Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost Pacquiao his WBO welterweight crown. "But I'm excited to fight and be a world champion again", the renowned Filipino boxer said in a statement, according to an Agence France-Presse report on March 9.

Matthysse beat Thailand's Tewa Kiram to win the vacant WBA welterweight belt in January and take his record to 38-4-0.

After Pacquiao's painful defeat, Roach had intimated that it could be time for his prized ward to consider retirement.

Though rumours of friction are rife, Pacquiao and his team insist they have no issue with Top Rank and intend to work with Pacquaio's long-time partners for a fight in the autumn.

In a highly-successful partnership that has spanned 16 years, Roach began handling Pacquiao when he wrested the International Boxing Federation world super bantamweight crown from South African Lehlo Ledwaba with a stunning sixth-round technical knockout win on June 6, 2001 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The bout will be a promotion between Manny Pacquiao and Golden Boy Promotions, with Top Rank although not directly involved, securing the ESPN TV spot for the bout.

One reason Pacquiao could be working with Arum on the PPV and North American distribution of the Matthysse fight, could be due to wanting a fight with Vasyl Lomachenko. Pacquiao is also still able to take a punch and has that warrior mentality that can be the deciding factor in the last few rounds with the fight on the line.

He also pointed out that the July 15 title clash was taking place at a time when the Senate would be in recess, allowing Pacquiao to prepare for what many see as a make-or-break encounter for the well-loved Pinoy boxing icon.

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