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List of Articles by Maloney L. Samaco



By Maloney L. Samaco
20 Apr 2018

Manny Pacquiao is not closing his relationship with long-time trainer Freddie Roach, as he prepares for his match against Argentine World Boxing Association (WBA) "regular" welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“First, I would like to clarify about that issue with Freddie Roach,” the eight-division world champion announced in a news conference on Wednesday at the City of Dreams to promote the fight.

Pacquiao said even if he makes up his mind to opt for his childhood friend Buboy Fernandez, he is not ending his affiliation with Roach.

“Freddie and I... we’re like a close family, and I didn’t make any decision yet about Freddie Roach, but if, assuming, I will make a decision about Freddie Roach and choose Buboy Fernandez as head coach for this fight, I’m still not closing the door with Freddie."

The fighting senator clarified he would like to try Buboy's ability to act as head trainer for this fight. Then promised to hire Freddie again. He just want to give Buboy a good future as a trainer.

“We just want to try and experience how Buboy will handle this one fight and after that we go back to Freddie,” said Pacquiao.

Pacquiao also revealed his plan to fight in Manila, possibly against Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, after the Matthysse bout.

“That’s one of my plans, fighting Lomachenko, and also my plan is to have a fight here in Manila. So either Lomachenko or anybody as long as it’s here in Manila, no problem. It’s going to be exciting.”

Matthysse said he would fight intensely to defend the WBA title and would not easily hand it to Pacquiao.

“Sure, you know, Manny’s won so many titles. He’s done so much in boxing. I’ve only won one title and I’m not going to give it up. I’ll die for it if I have to."

“He’s had a great history in boxing and this is my time, this is my time, and I’m going to defend this title until death,” added the Argentine visitor.

But the 39-year-old Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) believes he still has what it takes to become champion agian. “I want to prove and show that I am not done yet,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao admits wresting the WBA belt from Matthysse (39-4 with 36 KOs) would be a difficult task that's why instead of the usual eight weeks of training, he is adding two more weeks of preparation, with Matthysse's record as a knockout artist.

“This is my time,” Matthysse said through his interpreter Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions (GBP). “I will not go to Malaysia to give up the title.”

Pacquiao will be inactive for over a year at the time he faces Matthysse at the Axiata Arena but promises he can still be highly competetive.

Even though Pacquiao was upset by Australian Jeff Horn on July 2, 2017 in Brisbane, and is no longer the great fighter he used to be, still Matthysse is cautious of the challenger's prowess.

“You have to watch out for him. He is still very good although not anymore in his prime,” he said.

Pacquiao boldly predicted the outcome of the fight which echoed through the halls of the venue.

“We will win,” Pacquiao said.

He picked Matthysse for his next bout because he wants to prove he can still fight elite fighters.

“I want to prove and show that I am not done yet,” Pacquiao said.

Matthysse won by knockout over Thailand’s Tewa Kiram in the eighth round on January 28 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

The 35-year-old Matthysse may not be the same dangerous opponent he was several years ago, yet tougher than the opponent Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum wanted him to fight next which is Mike Alvarado.

“He has guts,” Pacquiao said. “He is aggressive. He can create more action than my previous fight.”

Matthysse was knocked out by Ukraine’s Viktor Postol two fights before he defeated Kiram.

“We cannot underestimate him,” Pacquiao said. “We have to make sure we are in 100-percent condition – physically, mentally and spiritually.”

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