Matthysse no fear of Pacman

Philippine senator and boxing hero Manny Pacquiao (left) holds the championship belt at stake with Argentine World Boxing Association welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday. Matthysse and Pacquiao clash on Sunday, for the WBA welterweight title. AP


Lucas Matthysse fired warning shots ahead of his World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title clash with Manny Pacquiao, exclaiming: “You (Pacquiao) haven’t faced ‘The Machine’ yet.”

The 35-year old Argentinian beamed confidence in his match with the legendary Filipino slugger, saying he would transform into a hungry predator at the opening bell of their clash at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

Branded as “La Maquina” for his machine-like punching prowess, Matthysse would be marching with a high knockout percentage as 36 out of his 39 victories came by way of stoppages.

He said he didn’t travel from South America to the United States to the bustling Malaysian capital only to surrender his crown.

“Pacquiao is a great fighter, but he hasn’t faced “The Machine” yet,” the reigning titlist told a packed press conference at the Hilton Hotel.

“I’m honored to face him. But I’m here to defend my title.”

Matthysse would be going home $2 million richer for fighting Pacquiao.

But he said money is not his motivation.

“We got everything to go. Lucas Matthysse is not here for the paycheck. He is here to bring his title back to his people,” said his trainer Joel Diaz.

Pacquiao, however, is unfazed.

Although he has yet to score a knockout since stopping Miguel Cotto in 2009, he was calm and composed in facing the rugged puncher Matthysse.

Both fighters have the same fighting style, although Pacquiao’s trainer Buboy Fernandez hinted to change tactic and switch Pacquiao to a counter-puncher to push Matthysse off his comfort zone.

“I believe we can create good action in the ring so the fans will be happy,” said Pacquiao, whose last match with Australian brawler Jeff Horn ended in a massive disaster.

Both fighters are confident with the amount of work they put in during their respective buildups and they would be more than ready to tip the scales for the official weigh-in on Saturday.

Pacquiao’s co-promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, said Pacquiao could be the heavy favorite, but it’s going to be a toss-up as soon as they step on the ring.

“I didn’t know that Matthysse is focused and determined,” he said. “This is the fight of his life. So it’s gonna depend on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings.”

“Are we going to see a distracted Pacquiao or are we going to see a Pacquiao we used to see?” De La Hoya asked.