Oscar De La Hoya Put out the tweets on April 2nd confirming that it is “signed, sealed, and delivered.” Lucas Matthysse will be putting his welterweight belt on the line Saturday, July 14th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Las Vegas and online powerhouses such as 5dimes have already released betting odds and have Manny as a substantial favorite. Early lines have Pacquiao at -230 (1.435) and the Argentinian at +170 (2.700). Make sure to check 5dimes for latest odds closer to the fight date.
Departure of Freddy Roach
Pac-Man is an 8-division world champion and for the last 16 or so years, one thing has remained constant in all of Pacquiao’s fights, Roach was in his corner. Apparently, Freddy Roach’s statements concerning Manny in an interview last July have left Manny less than pleased. In lieu of Roach, Pacquiao’s long-time friend, Buboy Fernandez will be handling the training and coaching for the July 12th showdown against Lucas Matthysse.
There really shouldn’t be an issue with the change. Because in a lot of ways nothing has changed. Buboy is the paradigm of Manny Pacquiao’s training camps and has been in his corner for all of Pac-Man’s 67 professional fights.
Camp will definitely be different with the absence of Roach, but it isn’t a paradigm shift. There is a level of continuity with Buboy stepping in that has me feeling that Pacquiao won’t miss a beat.
Matchup with Lucas Matthysse
The Argentinian favors the aggressive ‘pressure’ style of boxing that utilizes his power. His trainer, Joel Diaz stated that stylistically, it’s an interesting matchup and should provide for a great fight. Both fighters are a little bit outside of their prime, but Matthysse still has a lot of power, he showed that in his 8th round KO victory of Tewa Kiram, and Pacquiao is still shifty with a lot of speed.
Diaz is no stranger to training for Pac-Man. He prepared Bradley for two of his bouts against Pacquiao. And admittedly, Joel Diaz said that he will have to have a much different game plan with Lucas Matthysse because Timothy Bradley was a better [fundamental] boxer.
Another notable thing about Diaz is that he stated in an interview back in March that in case the fight goes forward, he was already looking for young, fast lefties with similar styles to Pac-Man to throw in the ring for sparring matches against Matthysse.
So, the Argentinian should come to the July bout well prepared, and we know Manny always comes ready. Diaz further stated that Pacquiao should not be underestimated.
In response to Manny Pacquiao saying that he would be the underdog in a fight with the champion, Matthysse, Robert Garcia stated that he didn’t think so. He feels Pac-Man is the favorite. “He [Lucas Matthysse] isn’t that hungry anymore. In his mind he knows, a couple more fights and I’m retired.”
Garcia also stated that he has been a good champion and he still has power, but he just doesn’t look like the fighter of old. And if the hunger isn’t there because in his mind he is already retired, he could be in trouble. Because Pacquiao will feel the hunger again. He has a chance to become world champion again.
Laid-low in Lumpur
I can’t say for sure if Pac-Man will be able to knock Lucas out … but he has a definite hometown advantage fighting in Malaysia. This is a fight Pac-Man can, and most likely will win … be it by points or laying Lucas low in Lumpur.