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Matthysse flying to KL early

By Nick Giongco

To get used to the local conditions and shake off jet lag, Argentine puncher Lucas Matthysse is set to leave for Kuala Lumpur from Los Angeles on Tuesday (Wednesday in the Philippines).

Matthysse is putting the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown for the first time against Manny Pacquiao on July 15 at the Axiata Arena.

Since May, Matthysse has been training in Indio, California, and he is expected to be armed to the teeh by the time he faces the Filipino legend, who will be fighting for the first time in over a year.

Pacquiao will follow after his last training day in General Santos City on July 9 on board a chartered Philippine Airlines flight. Like Matthysse, the 39-year-old eight-division titleholder has been training diligently the last two months.

Matthysse is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Goldenboy Promotions, whose se big boss is also attending the event to help Pacquiao promote it even further.

Pacquiao’s MP Promotions is staging the slugfest, the first time Malaysia is witnessing a huge boxing show in over 40 years.

As this developed, the WBA has appointed veteran ring arbiter Luis Pabon of Puerto Rico as referee while the three judges are Stanley Christoddolou of South Africa, Jean Robert Laine of Monaco and Nelson Vazquez of Puerto Rico, according to Hispanic fight scribe Carlos Costa.