by Elisinio Castillo
For three demanding months, Lucas Matthysse has lived in Indio, California.
The WBA "regular" welterweight champion is preparing for the biggest fight of his career, a world title showdown against eight division beltholder Manny Pacquiao.
The contest takes place on Saturday, July 15th [July 14 in the United States], in Malaysia.
Matthysse is heading over to Malaysia, after the financial issues connected to the contest were resolved.
He's been working hard with veteran coach Joel Diaz - and realizes that a win over Pacquiao will catapult his worth in a very lucrative division.
"We already completed the heavier part of the preparation and I feel very good. I did the weight well, so I'm more than satisfied. It was three long, hard months, but I'm happy. I have not gotten on the plane yet but I'm looking forward to it," said Matthysse to Mauro Mariani.
"I always expected a big fight like this. Before I looked at him and wanted to face him. Now he's being given to me and I'm the one who is defending the title. This is what I dreamed about when I started to box professionally - to be a champion, but not all of this. I did not imagine that I would have had the type of run that I've had in the United States or having achieved what I achieved.
"I was for many years looking for the belt and I know that certain champions make some less risky defenses, but a fight against Pacquiao is not always given to you, so I grabbed it with pleasure. For me, fighting with him is something very big. All the fights are risky. I know that I'm going to his house now. Many wonder why I didn't make a quieter defense, but this is my opportunity and I have to measure myself."
As far as the contest itself, Matthysse believes that he's capable of knocking Pacquiao out with either hand.
"He'll be moving around from the first round. I have two strong hands and he moves very well. Maybe he's going to box from the outside, but at any moment he can come forward. He is not the same as he was a few years ago, but he always prepared very well for his fights. I plan to look good, win, returning to my city with the belt. A good right hand can end the fight. But I can also set the outcome with the left, like the last one," Matthysse said.