Lucas Matthysse ready to defend welterweight title against Manny Pacquiao 'to the death'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — Lucas Matthysse is clear about one thing: defending his spot on top of the boxing world at all cost.

He will stake his World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title against Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

"This is my first time to defending my title which is hard to obtain. And I'm going to defend it to the death," Matthysse said Wednesday in a press conference held in Parañaque.

With both boxers possessing an assertive mentality, the 35-year-old reigning champion anticipates a thrilling conclusion to their slugfest

"This is going to be a great fight because both fighters are aggressive," Matthysse said.

He said he respects the contributions of Pacquiao, the eight-division king of the sport, but that it's his time now to dominate. 

"It's a great honor for me to be fighting against Manny Pacquiao. He has a great history in boxing, but this is my time," he said.

The Argentine thinks Pacquiao does not have the same power as before and that his age will play a factor in their match.

"Obviously Pacquiao is still a great fighter, but since the knockout of (Juan Manuel) Marquez he is not the same fighter anymore," he said.

"He's not in his prime anymore. He is still very good, but I don't think he's in the same level," he added.

Matthysse holds a professional record of 39 wins _ 36 of which were knockouts _ and has lost four fights. Pacquiao sports a slate of 59 wins, including 38 knockouts, and has lost seven bouts, with two of his fights ending in draws.