KUALA LUMPUR—Step right up, boxing fans. Manny Pacquiao has promised to “put up a good show,” that is guaranteed to entertain faithful followers of the fight game.
The only boxer to win titles in eight weight divisions, Pacquiao, generally considered as one of the sport’s all-time greats, started his open workout on Wednesday by calling on boxing fans to support his July 15 fight against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina.
He admitted that putting on two hats—that of a fighter and a promoter—for this WBA welterweight championship fight is challenging, but everything is “under control.”
Pacquiao said his outfit, MP Promotions, is “doing a great job” working on the organizational side, while he is focused on winning his 60th fight in a manner that would ensure a glorious career finish.
“I would like to invite you for the weigh-in on Saturday, it’s gonna be free for the public,” Pacquiao told media that packed the makeshift training gym at Le Meridien Hotel.
His fight at Axiata Arena on Sunday won’t be free, though. But his camp is offering discounts. MP promotions marketing head Arnold Vegafria said they have slashed rates for students, athletes and overseas Filipino workers based here.
A quick check at website viagogo.com revealed that only one percent of the tickets for the 16,000-seater venue is available. Prices range from 500 Malaysian ringgit (roughly P6,500) to 20,000 MYR (P260,000).
“We are happy to bring big fights here in Malaysia and help promote boxing in Asia,” said Pacquiao.
Local media, obviously more fascinated with football than boxing, were asking him about the fight coinciding with the World Cup final in Moscow.
“It’s not competing with the World Cup, because World Cup is going to be held early in the morning,” said Pacquiao. The world title fight will be at 8 a.m. local time.
“I have been watching football for a long time, my favorite team is already eliminated, Argentina,” quipped Pacquiao, eliciting laughter from the group of media who waited for hours to watch him train.
He didn’t disappoint, though. Compared to Matthysse, who barely worked a sweat in about 30 minutes at the mitts, speed ball and jump rope, Pacquiao went into full routine along with his team led by Buboy Fernandez.
“I have a lot of strategies,” said Pacquiao when asked what his plans are against the Argentine champion. “I will make sure I will use my left and my right.”
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