KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Manny Pacquiao put up a show while Lucas Matthysse chose to hold his punches in the media workout of the Fight of Champions on Wednesday, July 11, at Le Meridien here.
Always eager to please the audience, Pacquiao gave a glimpse of what he intends to do against Matthysse when they clash for the Argentine’s World Boxing Association welterweight crown on Sunday at Axiata Arena here.
In contrast, Matthysse just went through the motion of completing his routine, hardly perspiring in his one-round mitts session with trainer Joel Diaz plus another round of shadow boxing.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, sweated profusely as he unloaded rapid left and right punches on trainer Buboy Fernandez while moving constantly around the makeshift ring put up at a section of the hotel’s car park.
No wonder, the predominantly Filipino crowd, led by his training team, applauded when Pacquiao’s mitts workout was over.
Though he’s well under the 147-pound weight limit at 145, Pacquiao still jogged for three rounds around the oval in the morning to keep his legs springy.
While Pacquiao appeared lean and mean, Matthysse still looked heavy on his neon green dry fit shirt.
As it turned out Matthysse was still overweight at 149, which hardly worries Diaz.
The former trainer of three-time Pacquiao adversary Tim Bradley said his chief concern is to prepare Matthysse psychologically because fighting Pacquiao offers a different challenge.
“Pacquiao is so intense he will not only wear you down physically, but also mentally, “said Diaz.
Team Matthysse left the premises at noon, leaving the Philippine, Malaysian, Argentine and other foreign media waiting for Pacquiao, who came in at 2:30 p.m. and headed straight to the dressing room.
During an interview before his workout, Pacquiao bared that the ring and other equipment to be used in the fight card undertaken by his MP Promotions will be donated to the Kuala Lumpur government.
With Malaysia being a football country, talks predictably veered toward the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia.
And, as it turned out, Pacquiao was rooting for Argentina, which got booted out by France, 4-3, in the round of 16.
“Argentina has been my team since before,” said Pacquiao, who likes Lionel Messi.
Sans Argentina, Pacquiao said he’ll go with Croatia, which is battling England in the semifinals.
Messi earlier said he’s rooting for France, which advanced to the final following a 1-0 squeaker over Belgium in the other semifinal duel.
Even in football, Pacquiao and Matthysse are on opposite sides. – Rappler.com
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