Manny Pacquiao Looking to Add Another Title to his Legacy
Accomplished former champion Manny Pacquiao will challenge for another belt on Saturday night against WBA welterweight titleholder Lucas Matthysse.
Updated: July 11, 2018 • 8:55 PM ET
Manny Pacquiao is creeping closer to the end.
Thirty-nine-year-old Manny Pacquiao isn’t the same fighter many remember, the one who went to war with prize fighters such as Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya and Erik Morales. Yet, he’ll fight for another title on Sunday morning in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia when he challenges Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round bout for his WBA welterweight title.
Pacquiao, who is 6-4 in his last 10 fights, will attempt to rebound from a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title a year ago. Horn has since lost the title to Terence Crawford, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, a moniker that Pacquiao used to claim.
Pacquiao hasn’t finished a fight since his TKO of Cotto in 2009, and he looks to have finally hit a point of slowing down. In the fight against Horn, he may have had the stats to win, but he did nothing to show the judges that he deserved to win. Horn fought with more heart and fire and stole the decision from Pacquiao, which is exactly what could happen with Matthysse on Sunday after his performances in his last two fights (TKO and KO victories).
Pacquiao has tremendous victories in his career that will be remembered, but he also has that unforgettable knockout loss to Marquez in 2012 that shocked the world. And let’s not forget the fight against Mayweather that everyone just wants to forget. This late in his career, Pacquiao still has an opportunity to preserve his legacy with a win over a younger fighter for a title.
Matthysse has rebounded from his shocking knockout loss to Viktor Postol in 2015 with two straight finishes of Emmanuel Taylor and Tewa Kiram, claiming the WBA title in the process. The 35-year-old is 8-2 in his last 10 fights and with his punching power, he poses a real threat to a fighter who will turn 40 in December.
Matthysse holds a slight advantage in height and reach over Pacquiao, but the winner may come down to who decides to not coast in the opening and closing rounds, should the fight make it that far.
Will Pacquiao be satisfied with the same laid-back style he used in the Horn fight, or will he take it to the champion? Will Matthysse be the same aggressive fighter we saw in his last two fights, or will he be tentative to pull the trigger?
Also on the card:
Jhack Tepora vs. Edivaldo Ortega for the WBA interim featherweight title
Moruti Mthalane vs. Muhammad Waseem for the IBF flyweight title
• All fights can be seen on ESPN+ on Saturday, July 14 at 9 p.m. ET
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