Sports Eye

Speed vs power in Matthysse-Pacquiao fight

By Jesus A. Garcia, Jr.

THE much talked about sports news in the world today are the FIFA 2018 Russia World Cup, Wimbledon, Tour de France, the move of Lebron James to Lakers in the NBA and the Matthysse-Pacquiao World Boxing Association welterweight title fight. And except the 21-day Tour de France bicycle marathon and the James issues, the FIFA World Cup (WC), Wimby and the Matthysse-Pacquiao results will all be out evening of July 16.

Admittedly, the talk among Filipinos is the Matthysse-Pacquiao fight hosted this time by Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at Axiata Arena. By the time you read this piece, you probably already knew who won but at press time, we are all anxious to know if our Filipino boxing icon Pacman, still has that killing instinct after 12 months and two weeks of inactivity following his setback caused by Australian Jeff Horn on July 2 last year where he lost his WBO (World Boxing Organization) welterweight belt by decision. Many say that because of his age, 39, his long layoff in boxing and his hectic work as a senator, his value impact as a professional prizefighter has diminished. Of course, his handlers headed by his chief trainer Buboy Fernandez are still confident that Pacman can still repackage his regimen during his two-month rigorous training and can still feel rage and brawl like a hungry growling tiger.
Well, that’s easier said than done and I doubt it. Still I hope he’s right.  Could this be what the country witnessed in the fight today, July 15?

I’ve seen some fights of Matthysse on YouTube and he was described as a heavy puncher, with aggressive fighting stance ala Joe Frazier, but still slower and less sharp than the senator. Toting a professional record of 39 wins, four losses with one no contest, the pride of Argentina Matthysse nicknamed La Maquina (The Machine) also takes pride in some sterling performances when he defeated well-known world rated contenders like Emmanuel Taylor, John Molina, Jr., former world champions like Lamont Peterson, Russlan Provodnikov, Humberto Soto, to name some. However, he lost to former world champions Danny Garcia of Mexico, Pacman’s former sparring partner Viktor Postol of Ukraine and Americans Devon Alexander and Zab Judah.

I know it would be speed versus power in the Matthysse-Pacquiao encounter which the organizers dubbed the match “Fight of Champions.”  Was it? And if it did not last the full 12 rounds not like I knew it would, I have to eat humble pie. At the same time, I believe that if the battle lasts, it would be a victory for Pacman.  Right? Wrong?  The only chance that I believe Matthysse can win is to knock down Pacman more than once or worse, knocked out Pacman like what Juan Manuel Marquez did. Yes, it will be a Thrilla in Malaysia if the two ring warriors slug it out toe-to-toe like what the two former world heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier did in their third meeting labeled as “Thrilla in Manila.” Ali, so exhausted, described the fight as closer to death after he technically knocked out Frazier in the fourteenth round of 15 to retain his title. Yes, that was the most hellist heavyweight battle that I’ve ever seen in my life.

I know, Pacman would be throwing more punches, show better footwork and head movements, but Matthysse, 30, evidently possesses knockout power than Pacman. The Argentine won his last two fights by knockouts while Pacman never knocked out a foe since the time he stopped Miguel Coto in 2009.

Pacman is still  2-1 favorite at press time. But the question now is: can Pacman still take the power of the young ones? You would already have the answer by this time, July 15, if it’s ‘father time,’ time to retire for good for Pacman.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: And Jesus Christ said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. MATTHEW 12: 30

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