KUALA LUMPUR – In 1975, Malaysia welcomed Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport, for a fight against Joe Bugner.
Many Malaysians of that era would remember Ali’s electrifying presence in Kuala Lumpur.
Now, 43 years later, another spectacular boxing match is on the cards.
One of the sport’s most decorated champions, Manny Pacquiao, is set to take on World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in a title fight.
Pacquiao, who is the only eight-division world champion in boxing history, isn’t just coming to Kuala Lumpur to put on a show.
The Filipino senator is seeking his ninth title while Argentine Matthysse will want to show how dominant a champion he can be in his first title defence.
But it isn’t just Pacquiao or Matthysse who will leave the Axiata Arena on July 15 in triumph, says Pacquiao’s promotional outfit MP Promotions.
“The Fight of Champions is good for Malaysian tourism. This is the second big fight after Ali vs Bugner. Now you have the boxing icon of Asia taking on the WBA welterweight champion,” MP Promotions head of business Arnold Vegafria told FMT in an interview.