Jonathan Harris – Pacquiao by UD – Pretty exciting fight for boxing fans but also one that leaves us pretty anxious about the outcome, a few years ago I would say this was a pretty easy fight for Manny with his outstanding speed and footwork but age and the consequences of the brutal wars he has been involved in has started taking its toll, This is not saying that Matthysse is in his prime either. At 35 and also being in his fair share of punch for punch battles he isn’t the most dangerous fighter in the world but still carries some Argentinean power in his hands. I think people are discrediting this fight for being an easier night for the Pacman than it actually will be.
I think the fight will start off the first few rounds Manny throwing 3/4 punch combinations using footwork to move in and out on the slower opponent, but as the fight consists then the more action-packed toe to toe fighting game of both men will start oozing with both fighters finding it irresistible to get into a bit of a scrap. This is the only way I think Matthysse could find a way to get the win and using his heavier hands in a dogfight. The outcome though I feel will see Manny getting his hand raised for what I hope is the last time in a beautiful career!
Craig Morgan – Pacquiao Points – Manny Pacquiao v Lucas Matthysse, two top level boxers but both arguably past their best. In regards to age, both are the wrong side of 35, with Pacquiao turning 40 later this year.
Matthysse has racked up a couple of good wins at 147, picking up the regular WBA title in his last contest. The super champion of the WBA is Keith Thurman but this just demonstrates the farcical sanctioning body issue that has gone on in recent years. Nevertheless, this matchup is worthy of a world championship fight.
Matthysse is a massive puncher but has shown in previous fights that he can be outgunned & outboxed. Pacquiao is definitely the superior boxer and still has enough left to compete at a high level.
Matthysse will try to push Pacquiao back and if he’s able to land a big punch, could potentially get a stoppage. There could be a few moments where he’s able to unload on Pacquiao but Manny still has enough foot speed to move out of trouble.
In my humble opinion, Pacquiao will outbox Matthysse and pick up a close points decision.
Rob Day – Pacquiao – This is a fight between two warriors, that have a lot of miles on the clock. Lucas Martin Matthysse has given us wars and battled some of the best. His power has been comparable with any KO artists in the World. In his last fight against Tewa Kiram, he looked like he’d slowed a touch – could be age, the higher weight or a combination of both.
Manny Pacquiao is approaching 70 fights, which is a remarkable achievement in boxing these days. He’s several years past his prime but continues at a high level. He’s no longer with Freddie Roach and we will see how much impact that has.
These two warriors that have seen better days but stylistically this should still give us blood and thunder. I’m picking ‘Pacman’ but with no conviction.
Richard Lewis – Matthysse TKO 7 – Ever since this fight was announced I’ve been excited about it and I for one am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds this coming weekend in Kuala Lumpur.
Since his 2015 KO loss to Viktor Postol, Lucas Matthysse is unbeaten in two with both wins coming inside the distance against Emmanuel Taylor and the previously undefeated Tewa Kiram. On both occasions, he showed his devastating punching power adding to his record with 36 of his 39 wins coming by way of stoppage.
Manny Pacquiao on the other hand, since his loss to Floyd Mayweather, has in the same time seen him win a rubber match with Timothy Bradley and also claim the WBO Welterweight world title after a points victory over Jessie Vargas. He subsequently went on to lose that title in his first defence to Aussie Jeff Horn in what many reported as a shock defeat with the ‘Pac Man’ at times looking slow and second best throughout, that fight and the general feeling that Father Time had finally caught up with him and it’d maybe be for the best if he called it a day. He didn’t do that and instead has taken what can only be described at this stage of his career as a dangerous and risky fight against the heavy-handed Matthysse.
Both men I’m sure will have a lot of respect for one another when they step into the ring and that often brings out the best fights, and with the added incentive of the WBA regular title up for grabs, I think this weekend will be no different.
I can only see one winner though and for me the younger man and heavier punches of Matthysse will put a severe dent in Pacquiao and I can see the Filipino legend getting stopped in his tracks and dropped heavy.
I don’t think that Manny has the power or speed and agility that he once did to keep away from Matthysse for 12 rounds and it could end early too if the Argentine catches him, much akin to when Pacquiao was KO’d by Juan Manuel Marquez several years ago. Lucas Matthysse is a dangerous opponent for anyone in the Welterweight division and I worry for Manny Pacquiao getting in with such an opponent when he is surely now past his best.
I just hope that if I am proved wrong and if Manny Pacquiao does somehow manage to get the victory that it’s the last we see of him in a Boxing ring as he’s nothing left to prove and should leave now with his faculties intact before he joins that long and ever-growing list of Boxing legends who don’t know when to call it a day and have carried on for too long.
Dean Berks – Pacquiao UD – Being a fan of Pacquiao I would prefer to see him retire but that doesn’t look like happening anytime soon. So this fight with Matthysse at least puts him in with someone at a similar stage of their own career too. Pacquiao no longer punches with the speed and combinations of old but against Matthysse that may not be a factor as Matthysse is not exactly difficult to reach. Standing in front of the heavy-handed Argentinian however, could spell disaster, because if he can connect, Matthysse will get his opponent out of there. Aware of this danger I think Pacquiao will look to box and move, picking off Matthysse for a points win. But don’t be surprised to find Pac-Man in trouble more than a couple of times throughout.
Dan Barrett – Pacquiao UD – I’ve a strong feeling that we’ll see – after perhaps a knockdown for Matthyse sometime early on, before Manny’s able to infer a framework of distance – a domination by Manny. This one could fairly predicate on Manny’s mobility, hand speed, the multiplicity of punches within combos, delivery upper body movement, and angles: areas in all of which Lucas, though in no manner deficient, is in comparison somewhat lacking. Wide UD, Pac.
Steve Haigh – Undecided – This fight isn’t straightforward to predict. Pacquiao is old in terms of his size and as you get older not only do you slow down but the punch resistance goes too. Matthysse needs to draw Pacquiao into a dogfight but that’s easier said than done if Manny chooses to attack off the angles and pick him off, If Lucas can time a right hand as Pacquiao lunges inside like he tends to he can win by stoppage. Otherwise, it could be a frustrating night for him depending on how old Pac man has become since Horn
Chris Glover – Pacquiao UD – For me it’s not the fight it could have once been. It’s a fight based on who’s got the most left in the tank. A prime Matthysee doesn’t touch a prime Pacquiao. I think Pacquiao’s speed even now will be too much for the Matthysee of today and he will edge out a points victory. How both fighters camps have gone will also play a major factor in this fight, more so than I think people realise. This fight for me isn’t one I’m having sleepless nights over, as I think it’s come far too late in the day, however, I expect Pacquiao to come out the victor on points. The only way Matthysee wins is via KO or and if on points he would have had to score multiple knockdowns. I don’t see past Pacquiao on points
Wilson M Scott – Slightly favouring Matthysse – I think Matthysse has got Manny at the perfect time. Pacman’s speed even though wained, is his key to victory if he can stay disciplined and if he uses it correctly with that fast in and out movement he can certainly confuse Lucas and win the fight. Lucas best chance is to get Manny into a shootout, he needs to try play on Manny’s aggressive nature which I believe is one of his best attributes but also his downfall. If Lucas can get him to stand and fire in any way, the first big punch for punch trade-off, I feel at this point in his career Manny goes to sleep. Once Lucas lands a nice clean shot its over. Looking at the Postol fight Matthysse quit in then you can also question his hunger, it was 3 yrs ago but still, does he really wants the fight or just wants the big payday. Manny I believe still wants to really fight so it’s not about money for him, but his body has slowed and it might be a case as we usually see of a great fighter trying to look for what has left him. But I am not going to call this one as there are too many variables but I lean toward Lucas if he is up for it.
Barbara Pinella – Matthysse UD – Well, must admit that I would have been a lot more excited about this fight had it happened before now. In that case, without a doubt, I would have had to take Manny. But since the fight is now, and neither fighter is what they once were, I think it comes down to two things – who had the better camp, and which man has his head in the game the most.
I am going against almost everyone else out there and picking Matthysse. He and trainer Joel Diaz know each other much better now, and unlike Pacquiao, Lucas is totally focused. Manny has a lot of distractions going on in his life and I think that might take away a bit from him. I look for Lucas to peck away at him and get the W.
Paul J Daley’s Pick and Preview can be viewed here