Who fears for legendary Manny Pacquiao?
Who fears? Definitely not strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, who has been saying Manny Pacquiao would be in his finest form come his July 15 challenge against Argentine WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse.
Not unbeaten Australian lightweight George Kambosos, Pacquiao’s chief sparmate in the GenSan Wild Card camp. Kambosos has been swearing Matthysse would be lucky to remain standing past the middle rounds of the championship clash in Kuala Lumpur.
The Australian lightweight star claims Pacquiao, strong and fierce, has remained sharp and deadly with his fists.
For his part, Buboy Fernandez, who has taken over as chief trainer from Freddie Roach, said he’s fine-tuning the tactics and strategy for the Matthysse fight.
OK, nothing to worry, nothing to fear.
Please don’t tell that to majority of street fans who have been intrigued by the astounding Matthysse stoppage record: 36 KOs out of 39 wins.
Out in the Mandaluyong City wet market sports hub, male boxing devotees, definitely Pacman diehards, were one in wondering if Pacquiao would be capable of handling the younger power-punching Matthysse.
“Kaya ba talaga niya (Can he withstand?) wondered Doro, the muscular, doe-eyed tulingan and shellfish vendor.
For the record, Matthysse had readily declared upon arrival in Manila in April that he would be ready to die to defend his title. He said Pacquiao is an old, washed-up warrior.
Trainer Joel Diaz, saying they won’t be caught in a tiring tactical battle, declared Matthysse has no choice but go for a knockout, the earlier the better.
On the promotional side, things were supposedly going smooth, trouble-free.
However, veteran promoter Bob Arum declared over the weekend he’s “not 100 percent convinced if the Pacquiao-Matthysse title fight will take place.”
“It’s hard to tell, a lot of funds have to be put up between now and the time the fight happens. Hopefully for Manny’s sake, those funds will be put in place,” Arum was quoted by Boxing News as saying.
Arum added: “I really don’t know these people, and I’m not saying it will be the case. Again, I’m not saying it won’t happen but I don’t know for sure if it will happen.”
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