Filipino Senator and Living Legend Manny Pacquiao challenges Argentinian slugger Lucas Martin Matthysse Sunday, July 15@Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the World Boxing Association World Welterweight Title
Though the official date of the fight is Sunday, July 15th early AM Malaysian time, it will be July 14th by at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time that New York operates on. That translates to 6 PM Los Angeles time. I’d imagine the fight will be broadcast internationally, but in the US will be put on by ESPN+ on some kind of web app that can be purchased from their main website.
Hard to know where to start with this fight since Manny has at least temporarily flown the loving nest of Bob Arum to stage this event under Manny’s own promotional banner with an assist from Golden Boy who promotes Matthysse. From the start it has been problematic to raise the money needed, but supposedly the money end has finally been settled, so here we land in a Malaysian crossroads type of fight. Presumably their political strife will presumably be put on hold for the honor of hosting a Manny fight. Manny has also departed from long time mentor, Freddie Roach, after some sort of acrimonious fallout from the regrettable Jeff Horn fight that never should’ve been staged in Australia by Uncle Bob. Oh, well, here we go again in Manny’s fightcom with a new cast of characters, yet longtime boyhood pal and confidant Buboy will be his trainer though I’ve no doubt a few name trainers flew over to the Philippines for brief private consultations.
Manny enters into his 40th year in December and currently 59-7-2, 38 KO. Matthysse is coming into his 36th year in September and currently 39-4, 36 KO, so we can see at least on paper he’s the slugger in this match up with plenty of experience. And like Manny, he’s been royally shafted by the boxing suits for some losses, and since both are aggressive fighters, it should be fan friendly with plenty of action.
Undercard has an interesting bout between two light flys scrapping over the much derided WBA belt that Venzuelean, Carlos Canizales, 20-0-1, 16 KO won in March. Bin Lu, 1-0, 1 KO, a Chinese Olympian from the 2016 Olympics aims to be the quickest to earn a title belt, a silly little record boxing likes to make up to sell to their shrinking fan base, but presumably still growing in China that may well become one of boxing’s capital destinations. Canizales only merits a 16th rating on boxrec with Lu worth a 110th ranking after knocking out a developing journeyman for his debut that mysteriously qualifies him for this title challenge.
Just DUMB, yet no other sport does DUMB with so much eloquent sanctimony as does boxing. Pacquiao, on the other hand, may find himself in a major league scrap as Matthysse is a slugger supreme with a good chin. He’s made a successful comeback from eye surgery thus far, so obviously he’s the hungrier, more unrealized fighter even if Manny is the favorite, but not prohibitively so. I’m picking Manny who still amazingly has his reflexes and fighting instincts after such a long career. Should be a great showcase for boxing if a fair and judicious referee can be found, sadly not a given in boxing.