Some would say it was in fact Oscar De La Hoya’s own fight with Pacquiao at welterweight many years ago but De La Hoya believes the Pacquiao star was born earlier than that.

De La Hoya has made the trip to Malaysia this weekend to support the boxer he promotes, Lucas Matthysse, who squares off against Manny Pacquiao this weekend.

De La Hoya was in philosophical mood in his pre-fight speech ahead of the right and fondly recalled memories he had of Pacquiao.

In his view, he told the world when he believes the Pacquiao star was born and sung the praises of the Filipino fighter:

“I remember when I first promoted Manny Pacquiao vs Marco Antonio Barrera many years ago. At the time no one knew who Manny Pacquiao was. But after he beat Marco Antonio Barrera the world knew who Manny Pacquiao was is to become and that is a world champion in eight different division, an iconic figure. I really feel that it was your destiny to become the person you are today. So I salute you, I admire you and I respect you.”

He went on to say:

“Golden Boy Promotions has always been a company of putting the best against the best. This is what we have here today – the best against the best. Lucas Matthysse has faced everybody at 140lbs, everybody at 147lbs. He is a dangerous fighter who has been looking for this opportunity all his life. He has all of Argentina behind him. He has all of Latin America behind him just like Manny Pacquiao has all his fans behind him. This is what the sport is all about – bringing the world together. When these two fighters step inside the ring on Sunday morning there is no nationality inside the ring. There’s no nationality whatsoever. They are two fighters who will bring the world together. They are two fighters who will give us their best. This is the best against the best and there is no better sport in the world when you have the best fighting the best.”

The fight will be shown live on the ESPN plus app this weekend in the US and on BoxNation in the UK.