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This upcoming Saturday future boxing hall of famer and living legend Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38KOs) makes his return to boxing after a one year layoff to fight dangerous “Regular” WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36KOs) of Argentina.

Pacquiao lost his WBO welterweight title to some guy called “Jeff Horn” from Australia in controversial decision last July in 2017. Pacquiao’s last true loss was in 2015 to fellow future boxing hall of famer Floyd Mayweather Jr. At age 39 Pacquiao may not be the fighter he once was, but he remarkably is still fighting on an elite level.

Some believe he can no longer compete with the best welterweights in the world today and have called on him to retire. Pacquiao has a point to prove and apparently wants to retire on his own terms.

Matthysse is an exciting fighter with the kind of knock out power that can change a fight in the blink of an eye, like when he impressively destroyed former two division champion Lamont Peterson in 3 rounds back in 2013.

He has been in some exciting fights against former world champions like Zab Judah, Danny Garcia, and Victor Postol only to come up short by losing. In his last fight for the vacant “Regular” WBA welterweight title, apparently trailing on all three Judge’s scorecards, he came from behind to knockout Thailand’s Tewa Karim in the 8th round to win his first world title in his second attempt fulfilling his potential of becoming a world champion.

Pacquiao-Matthysse is clearly a “Cross Roads” fight. The winner of this fight can look forward to big payday fights and/or unification fights with other top welterweights. The loser has to consider retirement. What does Pacquiao have to do to secure victory against Matthysse and vice versa?

The reports are Pacquiao is in excellent shape and training has gone well. Pacquiao has looked good in the gym against sparring partners and his speed and timing are still intact.

Against Matthysee, Pacquiao has to use his speed to dictate the pace of the fight. He must be first in attacking. He must use his jab and throw combinations. He must be in and out using angles and not allow Matthysee to plant his feet to throw his power punches. Pacquiao must disturb Matthysee’s rhythm. He has to use good movement, but also has to at times cautiously fight Matthysse to show that he is not overly concerned about his power. Not only should Pacquiao throw head shots, but he must also throw body shots as Matthysse is susceptible to them. The fighters that beat Matthyssee in the past all outboxed him.

In regards to Mattyhsse, he too will have to try and dictate the pace by being first. He has to attack Pacquiao throwing punches with “Bad intentions” from the start of the fight.

Matthysse will be very dangerous in the early rounds and is capable of hurting Pacquiao. Matthysse does not have the speed or boxing ability of Pacquiao, but he is the stronger fighter of the two. He will have to pick his spots and time the quicker Pacquiao as he attempt to land his punches against Mattyhysse.

Mattyhsse must make the punches he lands count to hopefully catch Pacquiao or wear him down and eventually stop him in the later rounds. Matthysee will waist his time if he tries to box the more skilled and quicker Pacquiao.

Mattyhysse has a “puncher’s chance” of defeating Pacquiao by knockout if Pacquiao should make a mistake in the same fashion when he fought Juan Manuel Marquez back in 2012. This writer envisions and has Pacquiao defeating Matthysse via unanimous 12 round decisions.

Contact Writer:

***Ralph Rimpell is a writer based out of New York and is a Boxing Correspondent for Ralph holds an undergraduate degree from City University of New York. He has been a Boxing Writer for over ten years having written for several top boxing websites on the World Wide Web. Before becoming a writer, Ralph's passion was for professional wrestling until he realized professional wrestling was entertainment and not a real sport. It was at that time the 1984 US Olympic team made up of future stars such as Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, etc. entered the professional ranks and signed with promotional outfit Main Events.It was also at that time a young exciting Heavyweight originally hailing from Brooklyn named Mike Tyson also turned professional and became the face of boxing. Young boxing fan Ralph just couldn't get enough of boxing as a large part of it was being broadcast on "free TV". As time went on, Ralph felt boxing writers were not being forthcoming with their boxing coverage, opinion pieces, interviews, etc. So Ralph decided to write an article and submitted it to a Boxing website thinking it would be deleted and ignored by the Editor. To Ralph's surprise his article was posted on their website and the readers embraced it. The rest is history.

"I thank God for the internet because it has created opportunities for writers like myself who likely would not have been given an opportunity to write for print publications.I hope someday soon to expand my role in Boxing on different levels." -- Ralph Rimpell

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ralph Rimpell.

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