Quijano: Matthysse and Pacquiao’s hurdles

THE other day the wifey and I were already considering watching Manny Pacquiao’s fight with Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia which is set to take place reportedly sometime in June. We have never been to Malaysia, so we were quite eager to go. But you know how it is. Ideally, we need to purchase the tickets ahead to avail of lower prices, but it seems the fight itself is not yet signed, sealed and delivered.

CONTRACT. Based on news reports, Pacquiao will not be fighting under the promotional banner of Top Rank for this fight and will go about partnering with Golden Boy Promotions.

However, there is also reportedly a condition that a portion of the expenses will be shouldered by a Malaysian investor and sans that component, the fight itself might be in jeopardy.

Another wrinkle is the fact that Bob Arum is reportedly of the interpretation that Pacquiao is still under contract with Top Rank.

My prolific compañero Ed Tolentino, in his article “Here’s why Manny Pacquiao is already a free agent, contrary to Bob Arum’s claim” on www.spin.ph cites as his source none other than Atty. Brando Viernesto, one of Pacquiao’s lawyers.

According to Viernesto, the two-year contract signed by Pacquiao in 2014 has already expired and the only thing that binds Manny is his obligation to honor a rematch with Jeff Horn which is the subject matter of a separate contract.

Now, I am not privy to the documents they are referencing, but I am siding with my compañero here. Not even the sagacious Bob Arum could compel Manny to fight for him, if there is no more binding contract. So apparently, Manny is already starting his preliminary training, but the fight itself has not yet been inked.

MATTHYSSE. So who is Lucas Matthysse, you might ask? Matthysse is an Argentinean power puncher with a record of 39-4, and 36 KOs. His best wins came against Lamont Peterson and Humberto Soto. His losses were inflicted by Victor Postol (via stoppage) , Zab Judah, Devon Alexander and Danny Garcia (via decision)

On paper, Matthysse is tailor-made for Pacquiao. He’s not that skilled and has little regard for defense.

He’s no spring chicken either at 35 years of age but Manny is still faster than him at 39.

There’s no question that a wide chasm exists between the skill levels of these two fighters. My only question is should Manny be fighting power punchers at this stage in his career?

I would characterize Matthysse as a better, stronger version of Jeff Horn. Now I know that Horn did not deserve that decision against Pacquiao, but Horn’s sheer physicality alone gave Manny problems. If Manny doesn’t knock him out in the first half of the fight, we might be in for another controversial verdict.

VERBATIM. “I’m also excited to see some abs come along, which is a very good sign. I’m excited to be here.” --WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker commenting on his physique as he prepares for his unification bout with Anthony Joshua (www.boxingnewsonline.net)

LAST ROUND. It’s on a dear friend, Joanne Avenido-Arevalo who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!


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