Manny Pacquiao’s comeback fight against Lucas Matthysse has been confirmed by the Argentine’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya.
The fight, set for July 14 in Kuala Lumpur, will be Pac-Man’s bid to win a 12th major world title, as he will be contesting the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown.
The 39-year-old Philippine has not fought since unanimously losing to Australian Jeff Horn last July.
Earlier this year, Matthysse, 35, beat Thailand’s Tewa Kiram to win the vacant WBA welterweight belt and to take his record to 38-4-0.
According to Pacquaio’s advisor, Michael Koncz, the kickoff news conference to announce the fight is scheduled for April 18 in Manila.
BREAKING: Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring to fight Argentine Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title on 14 July. 🇵🇭— Team FA (@TeamFA) 3 April 2018
He's not done yet... 👑 pic.twitter.com/K8JF9D9KPb
“Signed, sealed and delivered” – De La Hoya
De La Hoya, CEO of Golden Boy promotions, confirmed the fight on his social media.
'Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion Lucas Matthysse will put his title on the line against Manny Pacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night July 14 (U.S. time),' the former boxer wrote.
Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion @MatthysseLucas will put his title on the line against @mannypacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia on Saturday night July 14 (US time).— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) 2 April 2018
“It’s on” … without Freddie Roach
Using the hashtag “Pacmanisback”, the Philippine confirmed the fight on his Twitter account.
“It’s on! Can’t wait to challenge Lucas Matthysse for another world title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - July 14 US time #Pacmanisback,” wrote Pacquaio.
It’s on! Can’t wait to challenge Lucas Matthysse for another world title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia - July 14 US time #Pacmanisback— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) 3 April 2018
However, for the first time in over 17 years, Pac-Man will go into a fight without his trainer, the Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, who has been replaced by his assistant and Pacquiao’s longtime friend Buboy Fernandez.
Regarding Roach’s dismissal, Koncz told ESPN: “There was some concerns Manny had in the last fight and some statements Freddie made to the media that Manny wasn’t very pleased about.
“Manny has told me Buboy will be handling the training on this fight,' Koncz said. 'What's important to Manny is that he has one voice to listen to in the corner that he trusts, and I guess that's Buboy for this fight.'