Boxing's only eight-division champion, Manny Pacquiao, returns to the ring for the first time since his controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title in July 2017. He will face Lucas Matthysse for the WBA "regular" welterweight belt on Saturday (Keith Thurman is the WBA welterweight super champion).
Pacquiao is seeking to win a share of the 147-pound title for the fourth time in his career, taking sole possession of the record he currently shares with Jack Britton and Emile Griffith.
Despite the loss to Horn, Pacquiao remains one of the top boxers in the welterweight division. According to ESPN, Pacquiao is the fourth-ranked welterweight in boxing, behind WBA champion Keith Thurman, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBO champion Terence Crawford.
The 12-round bout at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will air live on ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET.
Pacquiao comes into this fight on a 378-day layoff since the Horn fight, the longest of his 23-year career. His previous longest layoff was 343 days, but Pacquiao had a successful return, defeating Timothy Bradley Jr. by unanimous decision in their rubber match bout in April, 2016.
Pacquiao, who has been fighting as a professional since January 1995, has hinted at retirement many times after taking the office of senator in his native Philippines in 2016. If he calls it a career after this fight, Pacquiao has numerous accolades to make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He has been named the BWAA Fighter of the Year a record three times, tied with Floyd Mayweather, Evander Holyfield, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for most all time. He has also won titles in eight different weight classes, which is the most all time.
Tale of the tape
Pacquiao: Age 39, resides in General Santos City, Philippines
Pacquiao: Nicknamed "Pacman"
Pacquiao: 59-7-2 (38 KO); former 3-time welterweight champion
Pacquiao: First fight since losing WBO welterweight title to Jeff Horn in July 2017
Pacquiao: 17-4-2 (8 KO) in world title fights; 8-3 as a welterweight
Pacquiao: Holds the record for most world titles in different divisions with 8
Pacquiao: Landed 45.1 percent of power punches in last 16 fights tracked by CompuBox
Pacquiao: 13 consecutive fights without a KO (Miguel Cotto, November 2009), longest streak of his career
Matthysse: Age 35, resides in Trelew, Chubut, Argentina
Matthysse: Nicknamed "La Maquina" (The Machine)
Matthysse: 39-4 (36 KO); making first defense of WBA welterweight title
Matthysse: 30 of 36 knockouts within 4 rounds
Matthysse: 4-2 (4 KO) in world title fights; 1-0 as a welterweight
Matthysse: Landed 44.4 percent of power punches in last 8 fights tracked by CompuBox
Matthysse: Former WBC junior welterweight interim champion (2012-13)