Pacquiao wants early KO as Matthysse aims to hurt
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A human versus a mean machine. An aging legend against a champion longing for recognition.
Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse should live up to hype when they tangle for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown here on Sunday, July 15.
Relishing his dual role as fighter cum promoter of Fight of Champions, Pacquiao deviated from his usual lines in an interview after the weigh-in Saturday and vowed to “finish the fight early,” if given the chance.
A decade ago, such pronouncement would hardly be a surprise as he was the best pound-for-pound fighter then. But now, approaching 40 and unable to stop a foe in nine years, Pacquiao succeeded in rousing interest for the global fight card featuring three other world title fights at the 16,000-seat Axiata Arena.
Focus, of course, will be on Pacquiao-Matthysse for it would provide an answer – Whether the Fighter of the Decade of the 2000s, eight-division world champion, and only Fighting Senator still belongs to the elite circle, or whether the fearsome warrior should retire.
But Pacquiao, a three-time Fighter of the Year, would rather focus on the positives.
According to him, the one year layoff after losing to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane did him good as it made him hungry to fight and rejuvenated his punch-ravaged body.
Pacquiao boasted he feels like in his 20s again after undergoing eight weeks of training under a new team headed by bosom buddy Buboy Fernandez and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune.
“We strategize differently, “said Pacquiao. “We learned to hold back. “
Admitting that he’s not getting any younger, Pacquiao said during training camp in General Santos City, he would push himself to the limit one day, then take it easy the next. After heavy training, he would relax the next day, content on jogging and light exercises.
“There was plenty of rest to recover stamina," explained Pacquiao, who’ll be gunning for victory No. 60, 38 by knockouts, against 7 losses and two draws.
Of course, Pacquiao, who checked in an ideal 146 pounds, knows Matthysse, who came in 146.7, is a dangerous opponent who can end his 23-year career in a flicker.
The 35-year-old Argentine, the reigning WBA 147-pound king, has knocked out 36 of his 39 victims with his hammer right and has only suffered 4 losses.
Matthysse, dubbed La Maquina (The Machine) for his machine-like attacking prowess, claims to be even hungrier than Pacquiao as he wants to bring his crown back home and make the Argentines, hurting with the World Cup exit of their heralded booters, happy and proud.
An added motivation for Matthysse, now being handled by Joel Diaz, is to be mentioned in the same breath as his opponent and Argentine greats Pascual Perez, Sergio Martinez, and Carlos Monzon.
Supremely confident, Matthysse promised to knock out Pacquiao, hurt him, and send him into retirement in earlier interviews.
Now, Pacquiao has fired back.
They both don’t want to go the full route. One is likely to tumble as the other basks in glory. – Rappler.com