No matter how high he has now ascended in position within the national government of the Philippines, Sen. Emmanuel D. Pacquiao, or just Manny to many Filipinos, cannot simply move on from the career that has defined his life for his countrymen: professional boxing. Never mind indeed that as he nears the age of 40, the attrition of the sport has affected him that his losses have come just as frequently as the wins. His last match in June 2017 was a unanimous loss after all. But no, it matters not. Manny Pacquiao will keep fighting, as this announcement proves.
As CNN Philippines tells us, the one-time eight-division world champion and legend of boxing has begun making plans for his next professional fight this year. Pacquiao announced during an interview on Wednesday, March 7, that he has decided on a date and venue for the latest battle of his boxing career. It will be on June 24, some three months from now, held at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. As for his opponent, Pacquiao explains that he has narrowed his list of opponents to two choices. He will take on either Danny Garcia from the US or Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
Here are the specifics of the Fighting Senator’s prospective foes. Danny Garcia has been a two-division world boxing champ with 34 victories (20 Kos) and only one loss. His latest win is against fellow US slugger Brandon Rios, whom he beat by TKO at Round 9. Interestingly, Rios has already been humbled by Pacquiao by a unanimous decision in November of 2013. Meanwhile, Lucas Matthysse is the current world champion for the WBA welterweight division. His W-L record is a tad worse at 39-4, but he has 36 knockout victories. His last fight was a defense against Thailand’s Tewa Kiram.
To summarize Manny Pacquiao’s current boxing status, his 2017 defeat in Brisbane to Australian hometown hero Jeff Horn cost him his WBO welterweight title, leaving him with 59 wins, 7 losses with 38 victories coming by way of knockout. Regardless of whether Garcia or Matthysse answers, the coming fight will be the Philippine Fighting Pride’s first in Asia since back in 2014, where he won unanimously against American Chris Algieri in Macau. Pacquiao plans to start training for June 24 when the Senate goes on break March 24 to May 13. He will continue after another recess on June 9.
Photo courtesy of boxingscene.com