By Francisco Pimentel
Nothing motivates an athlete more than big challenges, especially if they are about facing a legend like Manny Pacquiao.
For this reason alone, the Argentine slugger Lucas Matthysse is getting his bags ready to concentrate in California without being able to hide the excitement and joy for the big fight scheduled for July 14th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Matthysse will train with veteran coach Joel Diaz in Indio, California.
Matthysse, who is the current World Boxing Association "regular" welterweight champion since defeating Thailand’s Tewa Kiram this past January, said that Pacquiao is the big fight that he was missing, just as Óscar Bonavena had his turn against Muhammad Ali and Marcos ‘Chino’ Maidana had two cracks against Floyd Mayweather.
Now Matthysse says it's his opportunity to fight a global icon.
“Bonavena fought with Ali, ‘Chino’ Maidana with Mayweather and it’s my turn to fight Pacquiao," Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO) told reporters in Argentina.
“I feel happy, it’s very exciting to fight with Manny Pacquiao, a boxing legend; for me, as an athlete, it is very big to face a monster like him, to enter the ring for a fight with him."
Lucas knows he will not be the favorite to defeat Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO), but also knows that a win of that size would put him in a very special place in the history of boxing in Argentina and Latin America, so he has promised to give his everything and therefore ha plans to have the hardest and most calculated training camp of his entire career.
In his successful and Hall of Fame career, Pacquiao has not been able to get a World Boxing Association title after falling short twice, the first time against Juan Manuel Marquez, when they fought for the featherweight championship, and the second time against Floyd Mayweather, when the welterweight championship was at stake.