Pacquiao, Matthysse Peaking At Right Moment
GENERAL SANTOS CITY–Challenger Manny Pacquiao sparred for five rounds
Saturday while WBA champion Lucas Matthysse doubled up the effort as
the main combatants to “Fight of Champions” ground it out with eight
more days before their monumental clash in Malaysia.
Pacquaio, fighting for the first time after losing a controversial
bout with Australian bruiser Jeff Horn last year, looked calm and
happy with the way his preparations have transpired thus far.
The 39-year-old legend of boxing feels rejuvenated. He hopes to win an
unprecedented 11th world title in his 23rd year of boxing come July 15
at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.
Standing in his way is “The Machine” Matthysse, who is leaving no
stone unturned in his own bid of retiring Pacquiao at all cost, even
hinting of giving up his own life in defending the crown he won early
Pacquiao sparred for two rounds with compatriot Jheritz Chavez and
another three with unbeaten Australian lightweight George Kambosos
Jr., as training sessions started to taper down.
In stark contrast, Matthysse’s corner is showing a different route of
training as they closed out sparring sessions also on Saturday.
Trainer Joel Diaz was satisfied with his ward’s condition and speed
and was convinced his fighter is ready to fight at any moment now.
Matthysse and his team planed in two nights ago from Los Angeles,
California in hopes of acclimatizing early in his bid to retain his
welterweight belt against the eight-weight division boxing champion
But Pacquiao’s think-tank remain unfazed. Chief trainer Buboy
Fernandez thinks his boyhood friend has done enough in training to
“Siya mismo nagsabi na happy siya sa training camp ngayon. Lalung-lalo
na sa buong team, puro tayo Filipino. Si coach Justin (Fortune) naman,
iyong cooperation niya bilang conditioning coach. Kumbaga, naibalik
iyong sigla sa buong team kasi lahat kami nagtutulungan,” said
Pacquiao is gunning for his 60th victory. He has lost seven time and
drew twice (38 KOs) in his storied career. Retiring is far from
Pacquiao’s mind as he showed moves which he has employed against a
bevy of opponents in the past, when he was a lanky flyweight moving up
to the ranks of bantamweights and even as high as a super