World welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse saluted Manny Pacquiao on Thursday but vowed to beat the Filipino boxing legend when they square off on Sunday.
“He is a great champion but he still hasn’t faced ‘The Machine’,” Argentina’s Matthysse told reporters at a packed press conference in Kuala Lumpur ahead of their WBA title clash.
“If he decides to retire after I beat him then that is his decision, I am here to defend my title.”
Veteran Pacquiao, who is chasing a 60th win of his long career, will turn 40 in December and has not fought since losing his WBO welterweight belt to Australia’s Jeff Horn in Brisbane a year ago.
Knock-out specialist Matthysse has finished 36 of his 39 wins inside the distance and won the vacant WBA belt after an eighth-round stoppage of Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.
His action-packed style, said Pacquiao, was one of the reasons the fight attracted him.
“When I saw his fight against Teerachai it was a good fight,” said the Filipino, who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions in more than 20 years as a professional fighter.
“I believe we can create good action in the ring so the fans will be happy.” Pacquiao was thrown out of kilter by Horn’s rough-house tactics a year ago and the Filipino’s conditioning coach, Justin Fortune, said they had prepared for similar from the aggressive Argentine.