Argentine WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse listens to questions from the media during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 12, 2018. Matthysse and Philippine senator and boxing hero Manny Pacquiao were scheduled to fight on July 15, for the World Boxing Association welterweight title in Malaysia. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)
Many Filipinos had only known about Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse when it was announced that he was picked to be the next opponent of Manny Pacquiao.
In the boxing world, however, Matthysse is the WBA welterweight champion and he’s no pushover.
Matthysse (39-40-0 36 KOs) turned pro in 2004 and had an impressive US debut in Las Vegas three years later when he knocked out Ramon Duran of Dominican Republic in the first round.
He went 27-0 before tasting his first defeat at the hands of two-division champion Zab Judah by split decision in 2010.
Matthysse also lost to Devon Alexander, Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol, who are all former world champions.
The fight with Postol in 2015 ended late in the 10th round when Matthysse went down after taking a right hook in the face and never attempted to get back on his feet.
Matthysse apparently sustained a broken left orbital bone during the fight that forced him out for 19 months.
He made a triumphant return in 2017 after stopping Emmanuel Taylor in the fifth round then, followed it up with an eighth-round knockout victory over Tewa Kiram of Thailand to capture his first world title.
Matthysse now faces Manny Pacquiao in the biggest fight of his life on Sunday at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It will also be his first fight in Asia after most of his bouts were staged in Argentina and the US.
Known to be a knockout artist, Matthysse poses a legitimate threat to Pacquiao with 36 of his 39 wins coming by KOs.