Manny Pacquiao aims to prove he is still great

The last time Manny Pacquiao was in a boxing ring, he was the victim of one of the most controversial decisions in the history of the sport. That loss to Jeff Horn was unexpected to say the least, especially to those who watched the fight. But Pacquiao has a chance to redeem himself in another title fight when he takes on Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse for the WBA welterweight crown. Can Pacman prove that he is still a top level fighter with a win?

Pacquiao should have been crowned the winner in the fight against Jeff Horn, there is no denying that. A look at their punch stats throughout the fight prove that comprehensively. But the mark of a true champion is their ability to rise above adversity like that to come out better on the other end. Pacquiao has done that before, but has yet to be tasked with doing so this late in his storied career.

"Manny Pacquiao Boxing Workout (2014)" by  (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

“Manny Pacquiao Boxing Workout (2014)” by  (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

His opponent, Matthysse, is an exciting one given his proclivity for having fights that fail to go the distance. Matthysse has had just two fights go the distance since 2013, as he has won and lost fights by stoppage in recent years. Explosive punching is something that Pacquiao has been able to neutralise earlier in his career, but it will be interesting to see how he does against it at this point.

Matthysse has said that a fight against someone like Pacquiao is a dream come true for him. That kind of talk would lead one to believe that he is going to come out swinging aggressively against the older Pacquiao. In the Horn fight, it was clear that the judges rewarded Horn for his aggression, even if that aggression just came in the form of swinging wildly. If Matthysse can combine an excited aggression with more precision than Horn brought, he could upset the Pacman himself.

MP2

“pacman” by Christian Alcantara (CC BY-ND 2.0)

When it comes to betting on the fight, the name recognition of Pacquiao is going to be enough for plenty of bettors to back him. Whether or not that is the right decision remains to be seen, but it is interesting to see the psychology that goes into backing a fighter like Manny Pacquiao despite the fact that he is approaching 40 years old. He is clearly still talented enough to win fights, but whether or not that is enough to win his backers their wagers in this fight could be another story.

As a result of the public support for Pacquiao, there could be some value in going the other way and taking Matthysse. Recommended free bets for this fight could include Matthysse to win the fight, as well as the fight to end via stoppage. Backing the fight to win by stoppage would play into the pattern of Matthysse’s fights, which have seen plenty of stoppages. That way, punters’ wagers are protected – this is important due to the uncertain nature of the fight.

Whether or not Manny Pacquiao deserved to win his last fight, he has another chance to prove himself in this one. It will be interesting to see if he has what it takes to do just that.

Kathy Kenny

EIC

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