We’re just under a month out from the Lucas Matthysse vs Manny Pacquiao fight and the ‘Pacman’ appears to have (a little bit at least) the old eye of the tiger back once again.
I can recall before his loss to Jeff Horn last year and the surrendering of his WBO title that Pacquiao in the run up to the bout looked a shell of his former self.
You only had to watch some of his pad work to see it.
A respected American boxing coach pointed out to me at the time that he thought Jeff Horn, a fighter with all due respect would not have touched Pacquiao in his prime, would beat him.
And he did.
This time around though over the past couple of months Pacquiao has been making genuine strides to get back into fight shape and has shown some glimpses of speed in training footage available thus far.
He’ll go into this one on July 15th without long time trainer and friend Freddie Roach however.
It’s unclear what caused the split, or if indeed it’s a permanent one, as Pacquiao said he wants to just experience one fight with his long time friend and cornelian Buboy.
A dangerous experiment potentially but at any rate, Pacquiao will be the challenger in the fight for Matthysse’s WBA welterweight title and he’ll need to come into the bout with that challenger mentality if he’s to win.
Matthysse isn’t in the prime of his career either and no doubt will look for the knockout – don’t be surprised if Pacquiao looks to adopt a more tactical game plan and look to outbox his Argentinian foe.