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Pacquiao ready for Matthysse, eager to end 1-year layoff

Pacquiao ready for Matthysse, eager to end 1-year layoff

Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse pose after making weight Saturday at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Abac Cordero

KUALA LUMPUR – Manny Pacquiao has long been waiting for the next 24 hours.


Declaring himself fit and ready to return to the boxing arena and take on a dangerous puncher in Lucas Matthysse, Pacquiao said that he has a newfound desire to again do the thing he loves most following a one-year hiatus.


It’s been more than a year since the Filipino icon traveled to Brisbane, Australia and controversially lost to local hero Jeff Horn.


Pacquiao has since licked his wounds and is now eager to make another run at the sport, this time with Matthysse’s WBA welterweight title on the line.


“Now I feel hunger to fight learning that's it's been one year na hindi ako nakalaban,” Pacquiao told reporters during brunch after making weight Saturday at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre.


As usual, the fighting senator breezed through the scales, tipping in at 146 pounds, one below the welterweight limit. It’s been that way for Pacquiao for the majority of his past fights, preferring to enter the ring without too much excess poundage to maintain his speed and mobility.


“Okay naman yung timbangan namin kanina (The weigh-in was okay). Ready to fight,” said Pacquiao.


Matthysse, the pride of Chubut, Argentina who is known for his high knockout percentage (36 of his 39 wins came by KO), also made weight at 146.7 pounds.


After posing in a customary staredown, Pacquiao and Matthysse went their separate ways. The next time they’ll see each other will be on Sunday, atop the ring at the 15,000-seat Axiata Arena here.


Pacquiao can hardly wait.


“Matagal tagal din ang panahon (one-year break) kaya gusto ko nang lumaban (It’s been a while since I fought that’s why I can’t wait to do it again),” he said at the dining table, where he was joined by Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, Quezon City Rep. Bingbong Crisologo, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology chief Ronald Dela Rosa and former Manila mayor Lito Atienza.


Matthysse, for his part, shares the same eagerness.


“I feel very good and ready to go,” said the defending champion. “This fight is very important for me, my team, my promoter and for all the fans in the world, specially from Argentina.”

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