Manny Pacquiao confirmed to fight Argentinian puncher for WBA world title

Manny Pacquiao confirmed to fight Argentinian puncher for WBA world title

After weeks of wheeling and dealing, Manny Pacquiao's crack at the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown of Lucas Matthysse of Argentina has been "signed, sealed and delivered", according to Oscar De La Hoya.

Pacquiao has not fought in the ring since being defeated on points by Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane in July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his WBO crown.

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first time in over 17 years, Pac-Man will go into a fight without his trainer, the Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, who has been replaced by his assistant and Pacquiao's longtime friend Buboy Fernandez. Matthysse is also a knockout artist. "What is 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".

Though rumours of friction are rife, Pacquiao and his team insist they have no issue with Top Rank and intend to work with Pacquaio's long-time partners for a fight in the autumn. Roach has been instrumental to Pacquiao's success and numerous world title wins.

"We are very pleased and privileged that ESPN will be part of this fight because of the tremendous viewing audience we had for the Australian fight", Koncz said.

The bout will be a promotion between Manny Pacquiao and Golden Boy Promotions, with Top Rank although not directly involved, securing the ESPN TV spot for the bout.

Pacquiao had been with Roach since he came to the United States to fight for the first time in 2001.

Promoted by Arum, Lomachenko, a former World Boxing Organization super featherweight champ, is set to challenge WBA lightweight titleholder Jorge Linares on May 12 at New York's famed Madison Square Garden.

This appears to make official a split many saw coming.

Michael Koncz, who manages Pacquiao, said a contest with Lomachenko would take place at the junior welterweight limit of 140-pounds.

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