Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao speaks at a pre-match press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 12, 2018. The highly anticipated fight between Lucas Matthysse, the Argentinean World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion, and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, will take place on July 15 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)
KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Lucas Matthysse, the Argentinean World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion, ratcheted up his confrontation with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Thursday, as the two will fight in a showdown in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
"Pacquiao is a great fighter and I'm honored to meet him, but he hasn't faced the Machine yet," he told a pre-match press conference via a translator.
Nick-named the "the Machine," 35-year-old Matthysse managed to register 36 knockouts from his 39 wins and against four losses. He said he is confident to defend his title.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao, who also serves as a senator in the Philippines, has not fought in the ring since losing his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title to Australian Jeff Horn last July. He is aiming to take back the WBA welterweight title from Matthysse this time.
Pacquiao, in his turn, also paid respect to his opponent, saying their fight on Sunday will create "more action in the ring."
The Filipino southpaw, winner of 59 bouts against seven losses and two draws, has enjoyed a glittering 23-year-old pro career. He retired briefly in 2016 but made a comeback to retake his WBO title from Jessie Vargas just months later. It is reported that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will also watch the match in Kuala Lumpur.
Present at the press conference was also Oscar De La Hoya, a professional boxer-turned promoter who with his boxing promotional company Golden Boy Promotions, helped bring the two fighters together.
De La Hoya said Pacquiao, as one of the most iconic figures in recent sports history, "is building bridges between countries, attracting the youth to become fighters, to become warriors." He also said Matthysse is a dangerous fighter. "We are putting the best against the best," he said.
The highly anticipated fight takes place at around 11 a.m. (3 a.m. GMT) on July 15 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.