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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Manny sharp as ever, says Gibbons

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
09 Jul 2018



Las Vegas-based international matchmaker Sean Gibbons is convinced Manny Pacquiao will dethrone WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse of Argentina in Kuala Lumpur on July 15 either by a clear decision or a late stoppage.

Gibbons arrived in Manila last June 26 and flew to General Santos City twice to watch Pacquiao work out before proceeding to Kuala Lumpur last week to coordinate with Malaysian associates in setting the stage for the Fight of Champions. He worked closely with Pacquiao’s advisers Michael Koncz and Joe Ramos in assembling the blockbuster card which features 11 fights, including four with world titles at stake, and 98 scheduled rounds.

“Manny’s in great form and in high spirits as always,” said Gibbons. “Buboy (Fernandez) and Justin (Fortune) have him ready for victory.” For the fight, Pacquiao decided to elevate Fernandez from assistant to lead trainer with Fortune coming in from Los Angeles to supervise his conditioning program.

Gibbons said he expects Pacquiao to be ready to rumble and in tip-top condition when the bell rings. “I arrived Tuesday night and the next day, went to General Santos City,” he said. “I watched Manny run and work out, doing various exercises. I saw him in a great mood, working very well with a smile, enjoying himself. Then, on Thursday, it was sparring. The Senator was extremely sharp boxing with three different sparring partners (Arnel Tinampay, Jheritz Chavez and George Kambosos). I saw him fast and razor-sharp, using his legs, angles and speed.”

Gibbons said Matthysse, who has been described by Pacquiao as heavy-handed, will find it difficult to land because he’s not as quick on his feet. What makes Matthysse dangerous is his frightening knockout power with 36 stoppages in 39 wins, a 92 percent rate. If he connects, it could be trouble for Pacquiao. But the question is whether the Argentinian can land on a moving target.

“The fight will come down to one thing----Manny’s ability to be in shape for 12 solid rounds and use his feet and angles,” said Gibbons. “He will box circles around Matthysse and in proper shape, land an accumulation of punches and frustrate the champion. If Manny stays sharp and smart, he’ll land a late stoppage or win by a 100 percent clear decision. At the end of the fight, you will hear … and the new WBA welterweight champion of the world, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao.”

The three other world title fights in the card will pit Jhack Tepora against Mexico’s Indio Ortega for the vacant WBA featherweight crown, China’s Lu Bin against defending WBA lightflyweight ruler Carlos Canizales of Venezuela and South Africa’s Moruti Mthalane against Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem for the vacant IBF flyweight diadem. Bin, who reached the round of 16 at the 2016 Rio Oympics and won the gold medal at the 2012 Asian Youth Cup in Armenia, will attempt to set a new record by winning a world title in only his second pro bout. The record is now jointly held by Thailand’s Saensak Muangsurin and Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko who both captured world crowns in their third pro outing.

Photo: Manny Pacquiao (center) with Sean Gibbons and Lu Bin.


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