Matthysse Vows Fight ‘To Death’ Against Pacquiao

Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse holds the World Welterweight championship belt as he arrives for a press conference with Filipino boxing idol Manny Pacquiao (not pictured) in Manila on April 18, 2018, ahead of their bout in July. Photo Credit: TED ALJIBE / AFP

 

World champion Lucas Matthysse on Wednesday vowed a fight “to the death” in his July title defence against Manny Pacquiao, calling the Philippine boxing star “past his prime”.

But the 35-year-old Argentine — who took the vacant World Boxing Association welterweight title in January — said it was still a “dream-come-true” and “an honour” to face Pacquiao, winner of eight unprecedented world titles in different weight classes.

“Obviously he is still a very great fighter but since the knockout of Marquez, I think he is not the same fighter anymore,” Matthysse said at a joint news conference in Manila, referring to the Filipino’s sensational 2012 knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao, 39, will fight Matthysse for the WBA welterweight belt on July 15 in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.

The Filipino has 59 wins with 38 knockouts in his career and is currently a senator in the Philippine parliament. Many in the country believe he will one day run for president, but Pacquiao has insisted that he is happier in the ring than in politics.

But Matthysse — who has 39 wins with 36 knockouts in 43 matches — said he was not fazed by the status of his opponent.

“Sure, Manny has won so many titles… I (have) only won one title. I am not going to give it up. I will die for it if I have to,” he said.

“I will defend this title to the death.”

Pacquiao has not fought since he lost his World Boxing Organization welterweight crown in a shock points defeat to Australia’s Jeff Horn last year, and has not knocked out an opponent in nearly nine years.

He insisted, however, that he was far from finished.

“That is what I am trying to prove this coming July 15 that Manny Pacquiao is not done yet in boxing,” he said.

“I keep on fighting because boxing is my passion and I love raising the flag of the Philippines.”

After the Matthysse fight, Pacquiao has said he wants to take on Vasyl Lomachenko, the Ukranian super-featherweight WBO champion currently considered by many to be the world’s top “pound-for-pound” fighter, an unofficial honour Pacquiao once held.

AFP

Nigeria Win World Scrabble Championship In Australia

ScrabbleNigeria made history on Sunday, winning the World Scrabble Championship in Perth, Australia.

In the finals of the best of seven games decided on Sunday, Nigeria’s Wellington Jighere defeated England’s Lewis Mackay 4-0, to emerge the new World Champion.

Team Nigeria had only six senior players at the Championship, after the youth team and officials were denied visa.

The Nigeria Scrabble Federation had expressed beliefs that the achievement in Perth would develop the board game in the nation.

Ronaldo Supports Brazil’s ‘Genuine’ World Cup Protesters

Ronaldo De LimaOne of Brazil’s all time legends of the World Cup, Ronaldo – having led his country to glory in 1994 as a youngster and again in 2002 – has admitted that there have been errors made in Brazil’s preparations for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

While backing the validity of protests against the country’s hosting of the World Cup, he frowned at the violent approach adopted by some of the protesters.

Speaking with ESPN, he said: “I think we must separate the fake protesters who cause damage from the genuine demonstrators. In my opinion, yes, the Police must act violently against them and they must be wiped off the streets.

“But I support the peaceful protests, they should happen peacefully. Brazilians are tired of hearing that Brazil is the country of the future.

“That we can one day be a developed country is exactly what the country wants and needs now; this is the future we desire for our country. We want to feel all of this great progress.”

While the political problems linked to the tournament remain difficult to ignore, Ronaldo de Lima was happy to also speak about Brazil’s chances of winning the tournament.

“I think that today Brazil is entering the World Cup with much more confidence than we had when we entered the World Cup in 2002. I believe that the squad we have for 2014 is really strong, we have a balanced team full of talents.

“Neymar is a fantastic kid, so talented. He’s our great hope for the future.

“Another thing is that we are playing at home, this really makes me wish I were a few years younger and 45 pounds lighter. This is a one in a life time opportunity, playing at home in front of our fans.

“We saw the atmosphere during the Confederations Cup, it was so beautiful. However, we know that Brazilian fans are so demanding, they supported the Selecao because all the players played well.

“If Brazil do not deliver, they can start the booing. It will start very quickly especially in the big cities.

However, in my opinion I think the team is in a good form and have a great chance of being World Champion again.”

It is believed that success on the pitch for the Brazilian team might switch attention away from the problems within the country.