Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao said he "can't wait" for a crack at another world title as Lucas Matthysse's promoter confirmed the Argentine will stake his belt against the Filipino superstar in Kuala Lumpur in July.
Earlier this week, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya announced the deal was done for July 14 in in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Pacquiao said "I can't wait to challenge Lucas Matthysse for another world title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia."
Once De La Hoya made the announcement, it appeared to clear lingering doubts about the contest taking place since the Filipino icon, winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in different weight divisions, first announced the contest last month.
Pacquiao, an elected senator in the Philippines, has not fought in the ring since being defeated on points by Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his World Boxing Organization crown.
The 35-year-old Matthysse, who has 39 wins including 36 by knockout against four defeats, won the vacant World Boxing Association belt after beating Thailand's Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.
Pacquiao has 59 wins to his name including 38 KOs against seven defeats and two draws. His last victory inside the distance was back in 2009.
Meanwhile the Pacquiao camp announced that a joint press conference with De La Hoya and Matthysse in Manila to announce the fight had been moved back a week tentatively to April 11. No venue has been set.
Pacquiao has a long-term plan in mind for 2018.
Both the boxer and his team have been very open about their desire to stage a fall fight with two-time Olympic gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs).
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who works with both boxers, says Pacquiao has informed him that he wants Lomachenko next.
“I think Manny is considered one of the best fighters in the world. But you know, as a fighter gets older, the younger fighters come up and they take their place. So Manny is still one of the best fighters in the world. And if he wins, he told me he wants to fight Lomachenko who many people say is the best fighter in the world,” Arum told The Manila Times.
Lomachenko is back in the ring on May 12, when he faces WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden in New York.