An inspired Manny Pacquiao has started training in hopes of winning an unprecedented 11th world title against WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina at the Wild Card gym here.
After building enough stamina from his cardio workouts earlier in the week, Pacquiao reunited with long-time friends and trainers Buboy Fernandez and Raides “Nonoy” Neri and started at a slow pace, doing regular gym drills and plotting pre-fight strategies.
The Pacquiao vs Matthysse fight dubbed “Fight of Champions,” is two and a half months away, set in the glitzy Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil on 15 July 2018. “I am excited to return to the ring once again and face a dangerous champion in a difficult and challenging fight,” said Pacquiao, the only eight-weight division champion in boxing.
“I am inspired as I am also excited to face the champion,” added Pacquiao, noting that Matthysse packs power in both fists, having won 36 of his 39 wins by knockout, which makes it a highly-anticipated battle.
The “Fight of Champions” is expected to equal if not surpass the pomp and pageantry of the 1975 clash between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner in Kuala Lumpur. The explosive fight card also features three other championship bouts, making it a must-see event.
Pacquiao, the 39-year-old challenger, did mitts work with Fernandez, his boyhood neighbour and trusted lieutenant throughout his career. Like in all his previous workouts, Pacquiao pounded the heavy bags and finished with his usual abs work routine.
Also a senator of the Philippines, Pacquiao is making full use of the senate recess to train without distractions before resuming work on 14 May to 1 June when the Philippines Senate reconvenes. Then, Pacquiao gets his final push in the whole month of June up until fight day on 15 July in Kuala Lumpur.