Manny Pacquiao vs Lucas Matthysse strengths and weaknesses
AS Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse gear up for their WBA ‘regular’ welterweight championship showdown in Malaysia on Saturday (July 14), Boxing News takes a look at five key areas in the fight, and who holds the advantage.
Both boxers have been widely regarded as power punchers, with a combined number of 74 knockouts between them. Pacquiao’s ability to carry his punching power from flyweight all the way up to super-welterweight has gained the Filipino recognition as being one of the hardest punchers pound for pound in world boxing. However, “Pacman” has not scored a knockout since his November 2009 victory against Miguel Cotto. Since that win nine years ago, Matthysse has recorded 14 wins via knockout, indicating the Argentine’s ability to stop an opponent is holding up better.
No doubt Pacquiao has been regarded as one of the fastest boxers on the planet. Overwhelming opponents such as Oscar De La Hoya, Antonio Margarito and Cotto with his devastating speed has provided the evidence for this. Although the 39 year-old hasn’t showcased his skills to the degree he once did, it only takes a Youtube clip of the Filipino on the pads to recognise his blistering southpaw speed is still present. Although Matthysse can’t be considered slow, the heavy handed pressure fighter hasn’t made a name for himself through the speed of his hands, unlike his July 14 opponent.
Although Pacquiao has a record of 59–7–2, four of his seven losses have come in his last ten fights, as he went seven years without suffering a loss (2005-2012). The four losses were at the hands of: Timothy Bradley, Juan Manuel Márquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Jeff Horn. The Australian acted as solid evidence the form of Pacman has somewhat diminished. That July 2017 loss is an indicator to many Pacquiao can’t perform as he once could. Matthysse on the other hand, has lost just twice in ten fights, coming against solid opposition in Danny García and Viktor Postol, while also winning his last two fights via knockout, indicating the four year age gap could be crucial.
Pacquiao is not only recognised for his hand speed and punch power, the Filipino has also troubled opponents with his excellent footwork and combination punching. Matthysse is no one-dimensional fighter however, his aggression, pressure and power has been key factors in his 39 wins in 44 contests, whereas Pacquiao will be regarded as the more rounded boxer for the diversity of skills he’s displayed along the way to his 59 career wins. With Pacquiao often able to either outbox or knockout an opponent on the back or front foot compared to Matthysse’s more simple approach to stopping his adversary through relentless pressure, “Pacman” is the more skilful boxer.
Neither boxer can be considered anywhere close to inexperienced, with a total of 112 fights shared between them. This argument comes down to the amount of rounds boxed and the opposition faced. Matthysse has picked up just one world title in his career, the current WBA secondary strap he defends against Pacquiao, despite this the Argentine has fought the likes of: Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson, Danny García and Viktor Postol. In November 2013 Pacquiao defeated Antonio Margarito to win the WBC super-welterweight title, while also becoming an astonishing eight-weight world champion, adding to his world title success at flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight, light-welterweight and welterweight. the Filipino also became the first boxer to to win the lineal championship in five different weight divisions. Pacquiao has shared the ring with the likes of: Érik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Márquez, and Floyd Mayweather, making him one of the most experienced boxers in the world.