by Nick Giongco
KUALA LUMPUR — Manny Pacquiao is a firm believer in the ‘Big Risk, Big Reward’ dictum that he chose a livewire foe in Lucas Matthysse to be his dancing partner when he makes his comeback bout on July 15.
“Matthysse comes to fight and he wants to go toe-to-toe,” Pacquiao said during Friday’s Malaysian stop of the two-city promotional tour at Le Meridien.
Knowing that a victory over Matthysse will pay off ten-fold, Pacquiao is risking life and limb in his quest to dethrone the World Boxing Association welterweight titlist.
But Pacquiao is confident he has the antidote for Matthysse, bull-strong, brash and brave.
“You have to work on your stamina and be 100 focused because if you don’t, there’s no reason why you should fight somebody like Matthysse,” said Pacquiao, who is attempting to bounce back from a shocking loss to Jeff Horn in Australia last year.
Against Matthysse, who has got a pair of hammers for hands, conditioning is crucial.
“If you cannot reach very good condition (against Matthysse), it’s better not to go on with the fight,” added Pacquiao.
And this is the main reason why Pacquiao opted to pick as Matthysse as opponent even though he would have been forgiven if he had selected a lesser caliber rival.
“This fight is for the fans, the fans who want to see non-stop action, non-stop punching because that’s what’s exactly what we are going to do,” said Pacquiao.
The Pacquiao-Matthysse slugfest, dubbed Fight of Champions, will be the first big-time boxing show that will be held here since the 1975 heavyweight duel starring Muhammad Ali against Joe Bugner.
If victorious, Pacquiao said he could still do a few more before calling it quits and that a farewell fight in Manila is a dream he wants to fulfill.