KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- It will be less expensive for Filipinos residing in Malaysia to watch the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse title fight on Sunday at the Axiata Arena according to Charles Jose, the Philippine ambassador to Malaysia.
"The management team of Sen. Pacquiao have decided to make tickets accessible to Filipinos here," said Jose Tuesday morning at the Le Meridien Hotel where both fighters were formally welcomed by the hotel and local officials. "So they lowered the price of the general admissions ticket from 488 Malaysian ringgit to 250."
They won't be the only Filipinos at the arena. The Philippine government Monday announced Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will be flying in to watch the fight live. Pacquiao also said he expects several other prominent Filipino government officials to watch.
There are about 100,000 Filipinos residing in Malaysia, most of them in the capital of Kuala Lumpur. Jose said many of them are looking forward to watch the fight, which is for Matthysse's WBA "regular" welterweight title. The bout is also the first major boxing event in Malaysia since Muhammad Ali defended his world heavyweight title against Joe Bugner in 1975.
"The Filipino community in Malaysia is very excited for this fight," Jose continued. "Like me, many Filipinos have seen and watched the fights of Sen. Pacquiao. Maybe for many Filipinos (in Malaysia) this is the first time that they will be watching him live."
Jose said that aside from the existing ticket outlets, Filipinos can buy their discounted tickets at the Philippine embassy.
"We have set up a table in the premises where Filipinos, especially those transacting business in the embassy, can avail of the opportunity to buy these lower-priced tickets."
The Pacquiao-Matthysse card will be shown in the Philippines via ESPN5 on Sunday beginning at 10 a.m. and will stream live in the United States via ESPN+.