Brace for secret Pacquiao punch
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – They’ve shrouded their training and fight plans in secrecy. But now that the weigh-in is over, Team Pacquiao and Team Matthysse can unravel the preparations they’ve undergone and what they intend to do in the headliner of Fight of Champions at Axiata Arena on Sunday, July 15.
Buboy Fernandez, new lead trainer of Manny Pacquiao, said they intend to spring up a surprise by taking the initiative early in his World Boxing Association welterweight title duel with Lucas Matthysse.
“Susugurin agad natin pag nakakita ng opening (We'll charge right away when we find an opening)," said Fernandez, noting that they noticed that the Argentine was a slow starter in most of his bouts.
And, unlike storms which can change direction and miss the landfall area, Fernandez assured that the punches would find their mark.
As to the general plan, Pacquiao made it simple: “Side to side movements, throw a lot of punches" and try to "finish the fight early,” if given the chance.
Fernandez is hoping that Matthysse will rush in and try to rough up Pacquiao as they’ve practiced a secret punch and a flurry of punches to stop the Argentine in his tracks.
“Kapag lumusut, may paglalagyan siya (If it goes through, it would be the end of him)," said Fernandez, noting that Pacquiao is determined to end his nine-year knockout drought and prove that he’s still an elite fighter.
According to Joel Diaz, Matthysse’s lead trainer, however, his ward is in the “best shape of his life “ and warned that if ever Pacquiao gets hit by a solid punch, whether it be a left or his vaunted right, he’ll be hurt.
“I’ve never trained a fighter with so much power," swears Diaz, who trained Tim Bradley twice against Pacquiao. "It doesn’t matter where his punch lands, be it in the shoulder or body, it will inflict pain."
Diaz expects Pacquiao to bring intense energy into the fight, but said Lucas is ready to catch Manny at the right time.
“Speed kills but Lucas can execute speed with his power," added Diaz.
For his part, Matthysse said he feels very good and ready to go for the 12-round bout to be shown by ESPN+ via livestream in the USA.
Oscar De La Hoya, who handles Matthysse by way of Golden Boy Promotions, warns that Pacquiao is in for a tough fight.
According to the International Hall of Famer, Matthysse isn't just all-power.
"A lot of people think that Lucas Matthysse is just a knockout artist. But he’s an intelligent fighter too," said De La Hoya. "He knows how to box and counterpunch. This fight is interesting in terms of styles. The people who really know boxing know that Matthysse can change his style and even confuse him (Pacquiao). He may even be able to confuse him and land some counterpunches."
No wonder, De La Hoya picked Pacquiao to win by decision and Matthysse via knockout. – Rappler.com