The World Boxing Association (WBA) will return to Malaysia on the world stage with the upcoming match between Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, 43 years after having sanctioned the 50th professional fight of the legendary heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali.
The pioneer organization will return to Malaysian soil this Sunday, local time, when the Argentine Lucas Matthysse defends the WBA Welterweight Championship against the multi-world champion Manny Pacquiao, in the main event on the billing of MP Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions.
On June 30th, 1975, Ali faced Joe Bugner in a rematch, as the American had already defeated the Hungarian by decision in Las Vegas in 1973, although without a championship at stake. For this new pairing the prestige of the ‘Greatest of All Time’ had been magnified thanks to his huge upset victory over George Foreman in the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’.
Ali, recognized as the greatest boxing icon, made the stop in Malaysia where he defended the WBA heavyweight championship to thousands of fans at the Merdeka Stadium (Independence Stadium) before fighting in the Philippines in the fight called ‘Thrilla in Manila’ with Joe Frazier.
For this Sunday (Saturday night in America), Pacquiao will look for a new crown in his career in what will be his twenty-third battle for a world title. He is waiting to be crowned for the first time as champion of the WBA after a failed attempt in 2004 against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Lucas Matthysse, who will make the first defense of the title he won last January against Tewa Kiram, will look to define his professional career and rise to face one of the greatest fighters of the century. A victory would place him as one of the greatest Argentinean boxers of all time.