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Rage against 'The Machine': Pacquiao puts career on line

AFP  |  Kuala Lumpur 

Filipino legend Pacquiao challenges Lucas "The Machine" for the World Association belt on Sunday knowing defeat could lower the curtain on one of the greatest careers in history.

Pacquiao, 39, faced calls to retire from friends, family and even his Hall of Fame trainer when he lost the WBO belt to journeyman Australian a year ago.

A second successive defeat, this time against the dangerous Argentine at on Sunday, could see the veteran "National Fist" hang up his gloves for good.

But victory for Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions in a glittering 23-year career, would extend his legendary status and his life in the ring beyond his 40th birthday in December.

"I am not saying it will be the last (fight), but it will be the basis to think about (whether) to continue or not," Pacquiao told AFP at his training camp.

But "Pac-Man's" thinks the world will see "the old Pacquiao" return and silence those who question whether his aging body still has the ability to compete against the world's best.

Pacquiao is going for his 60th victory since turning pro in 1995, but despite winning 38 of his first 47 fights by knockout, he has not stopped an opponent in nine years.

"He looks like the old Pacquiao," declared Fortune of the who is also an elected in the and is tipped one day to run for

"His metabolism is ridiculous. He's a freak." (39-4, 36 KOs) paid tribute to Pacquiao but warned that his admiration for one of the world's greatest pound-for-pound fighters would not stop him from taking his belt back to

"He is a great champion but he still hasn't faced 'The Machine'," Argentina's told a pre-fight press conference.

"If he decides to retire after I beat him then that is his decision. I am here to defend my title."

- Ali vs Bugner -


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Knock-out specialist Matthysse has finished 36 of his 39 wins inside the distance and took the vacant WBA belt after an eighth-round stoppage of Thailand's Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.

The Malaysian metropolis is hosting for the first time since heavyweight legend defeated over 15 rounds in 1975.

And like buses, you wait 43 years for one world title fight and then four come along at once.

The undercard will see the interim featherweight belt on the line when Mexico's Edivaldo Ortega (26-1-1, 16 KOs) fights unbeaten Filipino Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16 KOs).

Experienced South African Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane (35-2, 24 KOs) defends his flyweight title against the unbeaten, but inexperienced, Pakistani (8-0, 6 KOs).

of (20-0-1, 16 KOs) puts his WBA light flyweight title on the line against Chinese rookie (1-0, 1 KO), who will make history if he wins.

Lu, 23, is a former youth world amateur champion bidding to become the first to win a world title in his second professional fight.

The record for fastest to a world title, in terms of number of fights, is jointly held by Thai super lightweight Saensak Muangsurin and Ukrainian lightweight Vasyl Lomachenko, who both won championships in their third pro bouts.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 09:25 IST
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