Manny Pacquaio v Lucas Matthysse tips: Fading legend could have light dimmed
Odds and preview ahead of the big fight
Manny Pacquaio gets an immediate shot at redemption with a title fight against WBA regular welterweight champion, Lucas Matthysse.
The Filipino phenom lost last time out in controversial circumstances to Australia’s Jeff Horn. And at six months off his 40th birthday, there are now many boxing observers who doubt his ring capabilities.
But the eight-weight world champion fights on against Argentine veteran, Matthysse. The Coral News Team examines the two fighters and predicts how it’ll go.
Will we see the Pacman of old?
Obviously, Pacquaio is a fading force. At nearly 40-years-old, his legendary status was set in stone a long time ago. And he’s been through a lot of battles down through the years.
But the major question here is can he still cut it at this level? He’s split from long-term trainer of 17 years, Freddie Roach. And that is another cause for concern.
He’s now being trained by his long-term corner-man Buboy Fernandez. And that could be a recipe for disaster if things don’t go to plan.
Extraordinarily, Pacquaio hasn’t stopped an opponent since 2009. Considering how long he’s been known for his knockout power, that’s remarkable. And he does have an average record over his last 10 fights of six wins and four defeats.
But the Horn and Tim Bradley losses were hugely questionable. That said, he’s just not been doing enough in bouts to get the decisions.
Is Matthysse genuinely world-class?
He may be a belt-holder but there are still question marks over how good the 35-year-old is nowadays when it comes to the welterweight division.
Known for his aggressive, pressurising style of fight and powerful hooks, Matthysse nearly mirrors Pacquiao’s own career, albeit much, much less luminous.
He’s been up against some star names over the years in the likes of Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, and Danny Garcia. And he has big a win over Lamont Peterson to his name, too.
But his star has been on the wane in recent years and he suffered a bad loss to Ukrainian banger, Viktor Postol back in 2015.
However, he won the vacant WBA title against Tewa Kiram back in January to set this bout up with Pacquiao.
Well, first things first. If both fighters can fight to their ability, this could be an entertaining tear-up. Despite recent performances, both are known for piling the pressure on with cumulative, sustained attacks.
However, as stated previously, Pacquiao hasn’t scored a KO in nine years and counting. Just two of Matthysse’s last 13 bouts have gone the distance.
Both fighters are on the decline here. Obviously, though, the Argentine is younger, arguably fresher, and he’s definitely got fewer distractions.
Pacquaio isn’t just suffering from the ageing process or the loss of a coach. He also has to deal with his second profession as a politician in his homeland.
There’s a lot of ifs, buts, and maybes when it comes to this fight. But it’s difficult to get away from the idea that Pacquaio has lost that fear he used to put into opponents.
Matthysse won’t be intimidated by the Filipino. He’s been in against heralded opponents before and gone toe-to-toe with them. We’re recommending the Matthysse win. The Fight Not To Go The Distance is 13/8.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing