At Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
Lucas Matthysse vs. Manny Pacquiao, 12 rounds
Moruti Mthalane vs. Muhammad Waseem, 12 rounds, for vacant IBF flyweight title
The next chapter in the storied career of former eight-division world champion and future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, will stream live and exclusively in the United States on Saturday, July 14 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. This will be Pacquiao’s first fight since headlining cable television’s highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast since 2006, when he fought Jeff Horn in July of 2017 on ESPN.
Pacquiao will challenge Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition, in the world championship co-feature, Filipino power puncher Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16 KOs) will face Edivaldo “Indio” Ortega (26-1-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBA featherweight title. Pacquiao and Matthysse are expected to enter the ring at roughly 11:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.
Pacquiao-Matthysse will cap a full day of boxing on the ESPN family of networks, as Regis “Rougarou” Prograis will defend the WBC Diamond super lightweight title against Juan Jose Velasco, and lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez will face William Silva, live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 7 p.m. ET and via streaming on the ESPN App from the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. Undercard action from New Orleans will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 4:30 p.m. ET.
“I am very happy that all of my fans in America will have a chance to watch my next fight on ESPN+, and I am looking forward to putting on a show,” Pacquiao said. “Matthysse is a great opponent. I am training with all of my heart because I want to be champion again.”
“This extraordinary event only affirms ESPN’s commitment to providing boxing fans with the biggest and best fights in the sport,” said Bob Arum, Top Rank’s founder and CEO. “Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest champions in boxing history, and his fight against Matthysse promises to be a sensational one.”
“This matchup is a perfect example of the world-class caliber of events we envisioned for ESPN+ when we announced our agreement with Top Rank,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling. “Pacquiao vs. Matthysse, which will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+, shows the commitment we have to delivering fans the best of boxing year-round on our direct-to-consumer platform.”
Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), the living legend from General Santos City, Philippines, will look to score his first knockout victory since 2009. Before losing the WBO welterweight world championship to Jeff Horn via controversial unanimous decision last July, Pacquiao recaptured the title on November 5, 2016 by defeating then-champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. In a career that has spanned more than two decades, Pacquiao has victories against legendary fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Ricky Hatton.
Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) won the vacant WBA welterweight title Jan. 27 in Los Angeles with an eighth-round knockout over Thailand’s Tewa Kiram. One of boxing’s best punchers, pound-for-pound, he is an all-action brawler who has participated in multiple Fight of the Year contenders, including an 11th-round knockout win over John Molina in 2014 and a 12-round majority decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov in 2015. Matthysse has won two straight since a 10th-round knockout loss to then-undefeated Viktor Postol on Oct. 3, 2015.
Upcoming exclusive boxing on ESPN+ includes the July 28 battle for the vacant World Boxing Organization 130-pound title as Puerto Rican Star Christopher Diaz faces Masayuki Ito at the Kissimmee Civic Center. Diaz-Ito will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 p.m. ET with undercard action starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Argentine knockout artist Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) discussed his training camp routine ahead of his super fight against future Hall of Famer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round welterweight clash. The fight, which will be for Matthysse’s WBA Welterweight World Title, will take place Sunday, July 15 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 35-year-old champion is now entering the first stages of sparring at the Boys and Girls Club in Indio, California, with head trainers Joel and Antonio Diaz. This team of brothers oversee a training camp that includes other fighters from the exclusive Golden Boy Promotions stable, including Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas, Diego De La Hoya, Marcelino “Nino” Lopez, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez and Oscar Duarte. Mario Narvaez, who is the brother of former two-division world champion Omar “El Huracan” Narvaez, also forms an important part of the Matthysse team, while Federico Wittenkamp is in charge of his strength and conditioning training. For the native of Trelew, Chubut, Argentina, this is not an ordinary training camp as his career will be defined by the result of this highly anticipated fight.
Matthysse’s training camp schedule consists of:
Strength and conditioning with Federico Wittenkamp at 8:00 a.m.
Training in the gym at 3:30 p.m.
Sparring sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Mitts, strategy and boxing routine on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Matthysse had the following to say regarding his break from boxing, his training camp, and his fight against Pacquiao:
“I have been training in the United States for about a month already after having trained for two months in Argentina. I still have about a month and a half left, and I’m preparing very well. We’re focused very much on this fight, and people will see the same Lucas Matthysse as always, the one who always looks for the action. It’s a fight that I like because of our similar styles and because we are of the same height.
“After my last loss against Viktor Postol, I decided to take a break of about nine months where I would do nothing but enjoy my time with my family. I would fish, ride my motorcycle, be at home or spend time with my friends. I needed the time to forget about boxing and recharge my batteries so I could start again fresh with my training.
“I’ve been a professional for several years. I’ve fought with good fighters, and I got a lot of experience in Argentina and the United States. Training with Joel Diaz now is something that’s really good for me. After having lost to Postol, I wanted to return, but I didn’t know where and how. I had known Joel Diaz for some time already, so I decided to start my career again with him in the United States.
“I expect the same Manny Pacquiao as always. He is a respectable champion, but I’m a champion as well. I’ve been fighting for a long time. I know he has a lot of experience as well. It will be a great fight, and I expect to see the same Manny Pacquiao I watched on television. Now I’m going to see him in the ring. This is something very big for me and my career.”
Pacquiao vs. Matthysse is a 12-round fight for the WBA Welterweight World Championship presented by Manny Pacquiao Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions and Arano Box. The fight will take place Sunday, July 15, 2018 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event will air live in the United States on Saturday, July 14, 2018. Tickets for this event will be announced shortly.