Who will win the World Cup? Pacquiao, Matthysse reveal their picks

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Pacquiao and Matthysse welcomed to Malaysia (4:05)

Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse are greeted at the Grand Arrival Ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (4:05)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse, who will clash for the latter's WBA regular welterweight crown on July 15 at the Axiata Arena (Saturday July 14 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.), are also on opposite sides when it comes to picking a winner for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Whereas Matthysse thinks France will go all the way, Pacquiao believes Croatia will pull through.

"France," was Matthysse's reply when asked about it.

"I'll go with Croatia. France and Croatia will fight for the championship," was Pacquiao's response.

France advanced to the final with a 1-0 win over Belgium in the semifinals. As of posting time, Croatia was set to meet England early Thursday morning (Kuala Lumpur time) in the other semifinal to determine France's opponent.

But the two fighters do share one thing in common: they both rooted for Matthysse's home team Argentina.

"My team is already out. My team is Argentina," Pacquiao revealed. "That's my team since before."

"It wasn't a good year for us in the World Cup, but we reached as far as we could," Matthysse said of his team which bowed out in the Round of 16 following a 3-4 loss to France.

When asked if a victory over Pacquiao might help ease the pain of their football team's early exit, Matthysse acknowledged that it would please fans back home. "I am sure I'm going to take this victory back home because I know how important it is for all the boxing fans, and more than anything, it's important for me."

Meanwhile, Pacquiao said he wasn't worried about the fight card, dubbed Fight of Champions, would compete with the final of the World Cup, which is also set for Sunday but at a much later time.

"The time is different," said. "The World Cup is at night and we start in the morning. So it's the right time. I'm also watching the World Cup. This promotion is not competing with them."

The World Cup final is scheduled to kick off at 11:00 P.M. local time, a good 16 hours after the Fight of Champions card gets going with Juan Miguel Elorde facing Thailand's Ratchanon Sawangsoda in a six-round super featherweight bout.