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AFTER THEIR EXIT AT THE WORLD CUP, ARGENTINIANS NOW AWAIT MATTHYSSE'S FIGHT WITH PACQUIAO


PhilBoxing.com




KUALA LUMPUR – Football crazy nation Argentina, having lost their match to France, 3-4, in the round of 16 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia, have now turned their attention to their boxing world champion Lucas 'La Maquina' Matthysse who will defend his WBA welterweight title against Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Sunday morning, July 15 (Saturday night, July 14 in Buenos Aires) at the Axiata Arena here.

“Lucas [Matthysse] is like a rock star in Argentina,” said Argentinian Carlos Irusta, publisher and editor of Spanish language Ring Side magazine who is here to cover the Pacquiao-Matthysse event. “Lucas is a very special man,” Irusta continued. “He likes solitude. He likes to run alone. He does not talk a lot, very unassuming but he is a gentleman and a lot of people in Argentina likes him a lot. He is very popular especially to the girls.”

“Now that Argentina has exited in the World Cup, the focus has now shifted to Lucas's fight against Manny Pacquiao,” added Irusta, who wrote a book about Argentinian great Carlos Monzon and who is also here to broadcast the fight for ESPN Latin America.

Irusta however acknowledged that Matthysse's popularity in his home country cannot rival the popularity of his revered opponent Manny Pacquiao. “Manny [Pacquiao] is a special personality of the whole world because he stops the countries [to watch his fights]. As I know the people loves him as the Argentinians love Diego Maradona. Maradona is a god. Lucas is very popular but he is not Manny Pacquiao.”

Top photo: Lucas Matthysse grand arrival at Le Meridien Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday, July 10.


Lucas Matthysse (L) poses with his father Mario Edgardo.

Matthysse, who was born into a family of boxers, has now taken the mantle of representing Argentina in the boxing world. Lucas's father Mario Edgardo fought as a professional for 11 years and has amassed a 38-13-7 win-loss-draw record with 18 stoppage wins.

According to Irusta, Lucas's mother, Doris, also fought as a professional. Lucas's brother Walter Dario fought as a pro from 2002 to 2009 and was also a heavy puncher, knocking out his 25 opponents in 26 fight that he won, that also came with five losses. Lucas's sister Edith Soledad also boxed professionally with a record of 14 wins and 10 losses and last fought on Oct. 28, 2017.


Philboxing's Dong Secuya (R) talks to Argentine Ring Side publisher and ESPN Latin America broadcaster Carlos Irusta during breakfast at Le Meridien Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, July 11.

After the retirement of WBC middleweight champion Sergio 'Maravilla' Martinez and WBA welterweight champion Marcos Maidana, Argentina now depends on Lucas Matthysse to carry the country's colors in the boxing world.

“On April 15 when Lucas went to Buenos Aires to have a press conference before coming to Manila and Kuala Lumpur for the Pacquiao press conferences, the place was jampacked with journalists and fans to hear what Lucas had to say about his upcoming Pacquiao fight,” Irusta said.

So when Matthysse declared in Manila and Kuala Lumpur last April that he was going to die in the ring if needed to defend his title for the glory and honor of his country at this Sunday's fight against Manny Pacquiao, we better believe him.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.


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