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Lucas Matthysse: Pacquiao isn’t the same since his KO loss to Marquez

Image: Lucas Matthysse: Pacquiao isn’t the same since his KO loss to Marquez

By Chris Williams: Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) wasn’t holding back in telling the fans and the media at the Manila conference how Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) isn’t the same fighter since his brutal 6th round knockout loss in his fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez six years ago in December 2012. Pacquiao’s record since then is a mediocre 5-2.

Matthysse will be looking to add another loss to Pacquiao’s resume when they face each other on July 15 at the Axiata Arena, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Matthysse will be defending his WBA World welterweight title against the 39-year-old Pacquiao. Neither fighter will technically be fighting at home but given that Malaysia is nearby Pacquiao’s home country of the Philippines, he’ll have by far most of the boxing fans in attendance.

I hate to say it but I think Pacquiao is going to going to get knocked out once again. He’s facing a guy like another Edwin Valero, and this fight is coming at the wrong point in his career. Matthysse is a pure knockout artist, and he does really well when he faces opponents that come right at him. The only fighters that have ever given Matthysse problems is the 5’11” Viktor Postol and Danny Garcia. Neither of those guys wanted to stand and mix it up with Matthysse. Pacquiao only knows one way of fighting and that’s to slug with his opponents. In other words, he’s made to order for Matthysse.

“I’ll die for the title if I have to. I’m going to defend this title to the death,” Matthysse said. ”He’s still very good, but not at the same level…ever since the knockout loss Pacquiao suffered at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez.”

The poster for the Pacquiao-Matthysse fight has a photo of Pacquiao that looks to be at least six years older, perhaps even older than that. The Pacquiao that we saw at the press conference with Matthysse looked older, much older in the face and he appeared fleshy, as if he was carrying around a lot of extra weight. There’s nothing wrong with Pacquiao being overweight. After all, he hasn’t fought in a year, and he has a hard job as a senator in the Philippines. That’s more of a sit-down type of job without much physical activity other than walking around, shaking hands and attending a lot of committees.

Pacquiao has a lot of weight he’s going to need to lose before he squares off with Matthysse on July 15. The fat hanging from Pacquiao’s face made him look a lot older than 39. In contrast, Matthysse had the appearance of a fighter ready to square off right then and there. He’s obviously been training and taking care of himself.

The truth is Pacquiao has looked afraid to mix it up like he used to do since his knockout loss to Marquez. If you look at Pacquiao’s fights against Brandon Rios, Floyd Mayweather, Jessie Vargas and Jeff Horn, you’ll notice that he looked like he was afraid to attack those guys like he used to do with his opponents. When Pacquiao was at his best, he was always in full attack mode in his fights. But since his KO loss to Marquez, he’s been looking timid and not being as aggressive as he was before. Pacquiao isn’t going to be able to beat guys like Matthysse, Jeff Horn, Terence Crawford, Vasyl Lomachenko, Errol Spence or Keith Thurman fighting in a reserved manner. I don’t think Pacquiao would be able to get a fight with half of those guys, but he can certainly still fight the Top Rank fighters. Pacquiao’s old promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank would likely gladly set him up

There’s a very good chance that Pacquiao is going to lose to Matthysse on July 15 and lose big time if he doesn’t fight in a more aggressive manner. Matthysse still has his power at 35, and he still has his seek and destroy attitude that he’s had his entire career. Pacquiao isn’t firing on all cylinders any longer since the Marquez fight, and that’s sad news for Pacquiao. I personally thought Pacquiao deserved losses in all of his fights with Marquez.

When Marquez finally did knockout Pacquiao, you could tell that it was the capper to the series. Marquez didn’t want to chance of being on the short end of another controversial loss again when fighting Pacquiao, and that’s why he didn’t fight him a fifth time. I believe that if Marquez had faith in the judging for a fifth fight with Manny, he would have taken the fight in a heartbeat.

“My time is not done yet, that’s what I’m trying to prove,” Pacquiao said. ”I don’t have a prediction but I will do my best to win convincingly. If I could have the chance to finish it right away, I’ll finish it.”

Pacquiao fought like he was pretty much done last July in his fight with Jeff Horn. He looked like a shot fighter in that contest, and it wasn’t surprising that he was given a loss. When Pacquiao needed to reach back and fight aggressively in the championship rounds, he couldn’t do so.

Pacquiao still has a lot of hand speed, and he can still move a little bit, but his stamina isn’t what it needs to be for him to beat the better fighter sin the welterweight division like Matthysse. I think we’re going to see how Pacquiao has lost a few steps when he gets inside the ring with Matthysse.

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