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Pacquiao vs. Matthysse a possibility for early 2016

Manny PacquiaoBy Chris Williams: Instead of facing Amir Khan or one of his promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters, Filipino star Manny Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) could be fighting the recently beaten Lucian Matthysse (37-3, 34 KOs) in early 2016, according to Fight News. Matthysse’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya is saying that negotiations between him and Pacquiao’s management are taking place. Matthysse would have the chance to put Pacquiao out of his misery. Pacquiao lost his last fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr last May, and looked like an old man in that fight. Afterwards, Pacquiao said he had a shoulder injury. A lot of boxing fans don’t believe Pacquiao’s injury excuse. They think he came up with that afterwards to try and explain away his loss to Mayweather.

Matthysse was considered a very serious candidate for a fight with Pacquiao before Matthysse suffered a 10th round knockout loss to Viktor Postol earlier this month on HBO Championship Boxing on October 3rd at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. It was thought that a loss to Postol removed Matthysse, 33, from the Pacquiao sweepstakes.

Matthysse quit in that fight in the 10th round after taking a shot to his right eye. He thought his eye was injured, but as it turns out there was nothing wrong. Needless to say, Matthysse took a lot of criticism for quitting because the fight was still up for grabs at the time of the stoppage.

Why Pacquiao’s 83-year-old promoter Bob Arum would want to match Pacquiao against a fighter that is coming off of a knockout loss like Matthysse has to make you wonder. Is Arum making that fight in some kind of deal to where De La Hoya will turn around and let one of Arum’s fighters face De La Hoya’s flagship fighter Saul “Canelo” Alvarez?

That to me would be the only reason why I could see Arum steering Pacquiao into a fight against Matthysse rather than someone like Khan, Terence Crawford, Tim Bradley or Brandon Rios. The money that Pacquiao could make against Khan has to be much more than it would be for him to face the Argentinian Matthysse.

It doesn’t make sense at all for Pacquiao to fight Matthysse unless De La Hoya is going to make it worthwhile for Arum to make this fight by letting him match one of his Top Rank stable fighters against Canelo. Arum doesn’t have anyone with a big enough name at 154 or 160 to match up against Canelo.

It could only be either the winner of the Bradley-Rios fight or Crawford. Arum isn’t going to throw Pacquiao in with Canelo because it would be a likely train wreck for the Filipino fighter unless Arum could get Canelo to drain down to 150 to take the fight. Canelo isn’t going to do that.

Floyd Mayweather Jr hasn’t said anything about wanting to come back in 2016 to face Pacquiao in a rematch, but it’s still early yet. Mayweather might say something in the coming months. That’s why it’s in Arum’s best interest not to match Pacquiao up with anyone yet because if Mayweather does come back in 2016, Pacquiao will miss out on that fight if he’s already signed to face Matthysse.

Matthysse, 5’6 ½”, does well against short fighters like the 5’6 ½” Pacquiao, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he turns around and beats him by knockout. This wouldn’t be a situation where Matthysse would need to deal with the height and reach for someone as tall as the 5’11” Postol. That was ridiculous.

Postol was far too tall for Matthysse, and he didn’t have the right game plan or patience to defeat the Ukrainian fighter. But against a slugger Pacquiao, Matthysse wouldn’t need to practice patience because the Filipino fighter would be right there in front of him the entire fight looking to slug with him.

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