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Pacquiao: I’m not done yet

By: April 18,2018 - 09:40 PM

Manny Pacquiao (left) and Argentine WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse pose for photographers during a press conference in Manila. /CDN FILE PHOTO

Manny Pacquiao’s best days may be behind him but the Filipino boxing icon is convinced he still has a lot left in him to regain world champion status.

Pacquiao, who turns 40 this year, is challenging Argentine champion Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in a fight where he is out to make a statement.

“That’s what I’m trying to prove this July 15. I really believe that I’m still there,” Pacquiao told local and foreign reporters at the City of Dreams Manila, the first of two stops for “The Fight of Champions” press tour.

Matthysse’s camp, however, feels the opposite.

“This is Matthysse’s time. Manny Pacquiao’s time is over,” Mario Arana, Matthysse’s manager, said through an interpreter.

During Pacquiao’s heyday, he dominated one weight class after another and became boxing’s only eight-division champion. But it’s been nine years since he delivered a knockout when he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round.

“Manny’s won so manny titles. I only won one title and I’m not gonna give it up. He’s had a great history in boxing but my time is now,” Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) said.

Both camps recognized the challenge that lies ahead.

Pacquiao hasn’t fought since yielding the WBO welterweight belt to Jeff Horn in a highly-disputed decision in July of last year and he believes he took a big risk in choosing Matthysse as his opponent for his ring return.

“We chose to pick Matthysse because I believe Matthysse has the guts and he’s a tough opponent and he can create more action than my previous fights,” said Pacquiao, who is also the promoter of the fight through MP Promotions. “I guarantee that the people will enjoy the fight because his style and my style are almost similar. We don’t want to underestimate him.”

“Manny Pacquiao didn’t want to take a tuneup fight for his comeback,” said Michael Koncz, Pacquaio’s longtime adviser. “This is a real fight.”

Matthysse, on the other hand, is defending his title for the first time since winning it three months ago following an eight-round knockout of Tewa Kiram of Thailand.

“It’s a great honor for me to fight Manny Pacquiao. It’s my first time defending my title which was very hard to attain and I’m gonna defend it to the death,” Matthysse said.

“Lucas is ready for this fight. He’s wanted this fight for a long time. It’s gonna be a dangerous fight,” Eric Gomez, Golden Boy Promotions president, said. “He wants to be great, he wants to beat Manny Pacquiao and that’s the only way to be great.”

Pacquiao didn’t promise a knockout but said he will go for it when the opportunity comes. No guarantees, just a statement.

“I’m not done yet. I’m going to prove this July 15 that Manny Pacquiao is not done yet. I will not predict the fight. I will do my best to win convincingly. If I have the chance to finish it right away I will finish it.”

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TAGS: done, not, Pacquiao, yet

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