Thirty-nine-year-old Manny Pacquiao and 35-year-old Lucas Matthysse will square off in the ring Saturday night in Malaysia.
On Saturday night, Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) will face WBA “regular” welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The fight can be seen on ESPN+.
This should be an all-action fight as Pacquiao and Matthysse are two of the best and most exciting action fighters of their era. It’s just a shame this fight didn’t happen five years ago.
While Pacquiao is still one of the most recognizable names in boxing and the only fighter to win titles in eight different weight classes, he’s clearly not the same fighter he was when he knocked out Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in three consecutive fights.
He’s 5-4 in his last nine fights and in his last fight in July 2017 he was outworked by Jeff Horn and lost by a close and disputed decision. For Pacquiao to be outworked by a fighter the caliber of Horn who was fighting for just the 18th time as a professional was shocking, to say the least.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 9, 2018
Perhaps that’s why he took a year off from the ring to re-energize and refocus on his career.
Matthysse is also years removed from his peak. He was once considered one of the most dangerous and avoided boxers in the sport. But following his unanimous loss to Danny Garcia in September of 2013, he’s fought just six times and one of those fights he suffered the first knockout loss of his career to Viktor Postol in October of 2015.
Since his loss to Postol, he’s fought just twice and scored two knockout victories against the overmatched Emmanuel Taylor and Tewa Kiram. But he looked like a shell of his former shelf.
It could be the end of an illustrious career for whoever losses on Saturday night. It would be hard pressed for the loser to get another marquee fight in the crowded and talented welterweight division.
The winner on the other hand has enough name recognition to possibly challenge WBO welterweight champion, Terence Crawford.
Although they are in the twilight of their careers, both Pacquiao and Matthysse are still entertaining offensive fighters. So there should be plenty of action in their fight. It’s just a shame this fight didn’t happen years ago when both were considered among the best in the sport.