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SPORTS ROUNDUP 7: BOXING WRITERS ON PACQUIAO VS. MAYTHYSSE


PhilBoxing.com




The coming Manny Pacquiao fight with Lucas Matthysse is hugging the sports pages and websites this week. Sports scribes have common views that the former pound-for-pound king may not be the same fierce fighter he used to with father time catching him up.

Nigel Collins, ESPN Staff Writer: "The world opened up to Pacquiao and he embraced it for all it's worth. Throughout the foremost portion of his career, he oozed raw aggression and a childlike joy of fighting. We loved him for it, and for quite a while it seemed like his reign of terror would last forever. But it didn't. It never does. The magic fades bit by bit until one day, poof, it's gone."

Chris Williams, Boxing News 24: "If Matthysse brings the same A-game that he brought against Ruslan Provodnikov three years ago in 2015, then it’s going to be tough night for Pacquiao. That version of Matthysse will make tough on Pacquiao, who hasn’t faced a big puncher since his win over Miguel Cotto in 2009. Pacquiao has fought plenty of excellent fighters since that fight, but none of them have been the guys with the heavy hands that Matthysse possess."

Kevin Iole, Yahoo Sports: "Despite his advancing years and clearly declining skills, he’s not yet at a point where a commission needs to consider not licensing him. He’s no longer a superstar, and would get destroyed by the truly elite welterweights, such as Terrence Crawford, Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, among others. But he’s a competent professional boxer and will beat a majority of the fighters in his division. He’s simply not beating the elite guys."

Peter Wells, Boxing News and Views: "The Pacquiao of years ago would have looked a million dollars against an aggressive boxer/puncher like Lucas, forcing a stoppage late on. Even the Pacquiao that beat both Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas in 2016 would have been well fancied to dominate across the 12 round distance, but the Horn fight has cast doubt over whether Pacquiao has now succumbed to the undefeated juggernaut that is ‘father time’. The problem for Matthysse may be matching the speed that Pacquiao still possesses."

Greg Bishop, Sports Illustrated: "Pacquiao will add to that mark on Sunday in Malaysia, when he faces another past-his-prime power puncher in Lucas Matthysse. The fight could be exciting. Pacquiao might win. But all that misses the larger, more important point, which is that Pacquiao doesn’t need this fight and shouldn’t have taken it. There’s nothing more for him to win in boxing and so much more, exponentially more, that he could still lose. Like his long-term health, for starters."

Cliff Rold, Boxing Scene: " While Pacquiao hasn’t scored a knockout since 2009, he has scored knockdowns in several bouts; he still retains better than average pop. Matthysse has always been able to crack. This might be the sort of fight where aging warriors are forced to find what’s left of their legs and their chances to cash one more big check. For Pacquiao, it’s a chance to leave one more good memory for the public that has followed him all these years. If he wins, it probably won’t be the final memory. The final memory is almost always the one people wish they could forget.'

Matt Jones, Bleacher Report: "Pacquiao may not be as ferocious as he once was, but he can still throw punches in flurries and find angles that are tough for opponents to stop. In addition, the experience he has will help him get through difficult moments, which will surely come given the way in which Matthysse goes after his opponents. While the Argentinian may also be a little past his peak at 35, he's been more active than Pacquiao, fighting and beating Tewa Kiram in January this year to win the vacant WBA belt with an eighth-round stoppage. This fight will be a lot closer, but Matthysse has the tools to get the better of an ageing Pacman over 12 rounds. Prediction: Matthysse via unanimous."

Noel Zarate, ESPN: " Matthysse will have to realize that Pacquiao is no longer the same fighter that he was when he was toiling in the featherweight and lightweight divisions. He has evolved into a better specimen that will grind in the squaring circle no matter how long and arduous it may have to take to get the win. He (among other things) will have to find ways to make it "ugly." The Argentine's KO wins against Emmanuel Taylor and formerly unblemished Tewa Kiram could bolster his confidence against his older challenger."

* * *

The 2018 World Cup final will be feature France versus Croatia on Sunday at 11 p.m. (Philippine time). Croatia entered its first ever World Cup final. Croatia defeated England 2-1 due to Mario Mandzukic's winning goal in extra period. Croatia also won its first two World Cup knockout stage games against Denmark and Russia on penalty kicks.

France, the heavy favorites, will be playing on its third World Cup final since 1998, and the 2018 World Cup final will be the sixth meeting between France and Croatia. The French Les Bleus have won three of their previous five matches with Croatia, while the other two games resulted in a draw.

* * *

The Golden State Warriors just re-signed Kevin Durant and hired DeMarcus Cousins to strengthen their frontline. Critics blame the Warriors for “ruining the NBA.” They won three of the last four NBA championships, and the Warriors signed Cousins, even with a torn Achilles, and their starting lineup now features five All Stars.

But Curry intensely opposses with the comment that their team is “ruining the NBA." He said they are always trying to find a way to get better. He added that if they were just happy with winning a championship and staying stagnant, they wouldn’t be doing themselves justice. Curry explained that everybody is trying to get better and they just happen to be the ones who set the pace.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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