Posts Tagged ‘manny pacquiao’

Via Sports Illustrated

Lucas Matthysse became the brightest star in the Jr. welterweight (140 pound) division on Saturday night, knocking out the talented Lamont Peterson (31-2-1, 16 KOs) in just three rounds.

After a honeymoon first round, Matthysse stepped on the gas to score a knockdown with a fierce left hook in the second round. While Peterson was up and fighting in the third, the Argentine landed a compact, devastating left hook to Peterson’s chin, flattening him out on the canvas. Peterson tumbled on the floor and propped himself back up to beat the ten count—clearly dazed—only to be sent to the canvas within seconds from yet another left hook.

Matthysse is now 34-2, with 32 victories coming by way of knockout. His KO percentage alone makes him the most fearsome 140-pounder in boxing right now, and potentially the most marketable. While no belt was on the line, it was a closely watched fight, with current The Ring Magazine 140 pound champ Danny Garcia in attendance.

The victory has earned him comparisons to Manny Pacquiao, who also savagely fought his way to stardom in wars with Erik Morrales and Juan Manuel Lopez, eventually winning lopsided victories over stars Ricky Hatton and Oscar De La Hoya. While the initial comparison came from Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer, a professional hype man, many writers can’t help but see the resemblance, including ESPN’s Dan Rafael and Bleacher Report’s Matt Fitzgerald. Both fighters have power in each hand, are offensive minded, and can even look a bit sloppy or undisciplined when they fight. And like a younger Pacquiao, Matthysse seems to function at an elite athletic level that makes up for his vulnerabilities.

While a string of dominant victories are certainly in his future, it’s also possible for Matthysse to rise to a similar level of commercial success, as Pacquiao broke cultural and language barriers to become the most popular boxer around.

Accordng to Chris Mannix, Matthysse would rather fight Pac-Man than hear the comparisons:

Pacquiao (54-5-2) may be on the decline after being knocked out by longtime rival Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth match, but he’s still in Matthysse’s weight range, scheduled to fight Junior Welterweight Brandon Rios. Should Pacquiao beat the young slugger (coming off a loss in his exciting rematch with Mike Alvarado) he’ll have his choice of opponents in the 140- to 154-pound range.

Lucas Matthysse will be watching Pacquiao’s career, and his spotlight, closely.

Marquez countered Pacquiao with great timing all night.

I started the night thinking Juan Manuel Marquez didn’t have a chance. I finished the night believing he was robbed.

Marquez was absolutely brilliant in last night’s fight against Manny Pacquiao. He avoided and countered Pacquiao’s punches to the point the champ was completely frustrated by the eighth round. He even seemed to be the more powerful of the two and certainly had the better timing.

Marquez proved why he’s still one of the best boxers at age 38, while Pacquiao turned in a performance that was less-than-worthy of the pound for pound champ. Pacman kept the fight competitive, a charging bull throughout the fight, but Marquez played the role of matador perfectly, his counter punches giving him an edge every round.

When the fight ended, most believed Marquez had finally beaten Pacquiao. Then the judges’ scores were announced.

One judge somehow had it 16-112 for Pacquiao, another  115-113 for Pacman, and the third had it an even 114-114.

Compare this to the crowd’s cheers for Marquez, overwhelming boos at the decision and, according to The Ring’s website, the fact many “ringside observers saw Marquez winning 116-112 and as much as 117-112.”

It wasn’t necessarily a corrupt decision – in fact, that’s a very inflammatory and reactionary statement to make. But it could be a sign that Pacquiao’s celebrity, once the sport’s greatest asset, has become something negative, a force that blinds judges, making them side with the star and not the winner.

Marquez, understandably frustrated, is now considering retirement after what should have been the highlight of his career. Unless a fourth fight is made, he will never have officially beaten his rival. But at least he gave fight fans one of the greatest trilogies in recent history.

Manny Pacquiao will win tonight.

Yes, Juan Manuel Marquez may be the more skilled of the two, and certainly the more experienced, but Pacman’s grown a  lot since their last fight – in terms of size and skill. This is important.

Pacquiao’s managed to move up in weight and keep his athleticism, speed and power. Furthermore, he’s a much better fighter since he last saw Marquez. It was close fight that many (myself included) thought JMM won, and fans wanted a rematch immediately.

It didn’t happen. Over three years have passed and since then Pacquiao’s become the current pound for pound champ (rating may change after midnight). Marquez has stayed within the top five for the most part, with two great victories over Juan Diaz and one over Michael Katsidis, both much younger than Dinamita, but his loss to Floyd Mayweather at welterweight was telling.

Marquez didn’t carry the weight well, and while he’ll be fighting above 140 again, he promises things will be different this fight.

If that’s true, this fight may turn out to be competitive. Marquez certainly knows how to fight Pacquiao after two extremely close fights and his age hasn’t shown as much as one would expect.

But like Mayweather , Pacquiao will be the bigger and faster man in the ring, and that’s a bad combination for Marquez.

Knockout predictions are bold statements, but I’m making a very safe one here: Pacquaio by KO in round 10.

I’ll know if I’m wrong soon enough.