Manny Pacquiao poses after making weight Saturday during the official weigh-in at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaAbac Cordero
KUALA LUMPUR – Manny Pacquiao said he will employ a mixture of movement and volume punching in an effort to keep Lucas Matthysse at bay in their 12-round title showdown at the Axiata Arena here Sunday.
While Pacquiao will not actively pursue a knockout, he did not rule out going for the stoppage, something that has eluded him for almost a decade.
“Our plan is to move side-to-side and throw a lot of punches,” Pacquiao told Filipino reporters at a dining hall where he feasted on food shortly after another hassle-free weigh-in ceremony at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre on Saturday.
Joined by politicians in the same table, the Filipino icon enjoyed his favorite beef marrow soup, t-bone steak, rice and other Filipino dishes as he talked about his readiness to return to the ring against Matthysse.
Pacquiao will end a one-year layoff and try to dethrone Matthysse, the reigning WBA welterweight champion, one way or another.
For Pacquiao, if a knockout comes, it comes.
“If we have a chance to finish the fight early, we'll grab that opportunity,” said Pacquiao, who hasn’t scored a knockout since stopping Miguel Cotto in the 12th round of their 2009 showdown.
Curiously, Pacquiao had the same chance in his last fight against in Brisbane, Australia against Jeff Horn, who was almost out of his feet in the ninth round after taking a barrage of blows from Pacquiao.
But Pacquiao failed to finish Horn off, and the burly Australian marched to a controversial decision win.
Against Matthysse, such an opportunity may or may not come. Even the Argentinean — a knockout artist — has a good chance of stopping Pacquiao, who has always been a sucker for the right hand.
Pacquiao can’t wait to find that out himself.
“Ganado, ganado. Yung takot, wala na yan sa akin (Fear is no longer a factor for me),” he said.
“I feel excited.”