Dave Allen vs. Lucas Browne Fight Preview
By: Ste Rowen
Another weekend, another fight-night at the O2 Arena. On Saturday night, the ‘White Rhino’, Dave Allen steps into the ring with Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne; whilst Dereck Chisora returns to face Senad Gashi in the co-main event.
Browne’s last significant bout was his brutal KO loss to Dillian Whyte in which the Australian looked well out of his depth compared to the man who defeated Ruslan Chagaev in Russia to claim the WBA ‘Regular’ title back in 2016; so depending on which version of Lucas turns up, it’s could be a big step up for fan-favourite, Allen.
‘‘It feels like every boxing fan has taken me in as one of their own. They feel like they’re watching their friend in there.’’ The ‘Rhino’ told a packed-out press-conference. ‘‘I watched the Bracamonte fight back and thought if I carrying on fighting like this I’m not gonna end up in the greatest way.
I’m gonna beat Lucas Browne, I know I am. Me and Darren Barker haven’t been training for hours every day for nothing…The ability is there, I’ve been letting myself down, but I can fight.’’
Allen, 16-4-2 (13KOs) reignited his career nine months ago when he knocked out Nick Webb in four rounds, a victory that came just one month after Dave was stopped in the 10th round by Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka. As mentioned, he’s been training with Darren Barker and the hope is that the Brit will come with a new style from his usual ‘take 2 to land 1’ tactics.
Lucas Browne, 28-1 (24KOs) has fought three times since his 6th vicious loss to Dillian Whyte last year, most recently a keep busy six-rounder with Kamil Sokolowski in March where the Australian was down briefly in the 2nd. But Browne is eager to put past demons to bed,
‘‘Obviously the last time out at the O2 wasn’t my day whatsoever so I’m looking to rectify that…There’s nothing bad to say about Dave Allen; handshakes and all that but once the bell goes we’re gonna punch the shit out of each other.’’
Before 2018, Browne was still seen as a lower ranked contender with reasonable power. If he’s able to regain that momentum he had before his failed drugs test, which lost him the minor belt, it could turn into a fight of the month contender.
The other heavyweight matchup on Saturday’s card sees Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora up against Kosovan-born German, Senad Gashi. The two were on the same card last December when Chisora was stopped late on by Dillian Whyte. Gashi was also stopped, in the 7th by Carlos Takam.
The crazy career of Chisora, 29-9 (21KOs) means that he could be a fight or two from the big-time fight nights again, and the former world title challenger is well aware of the situation,
‘‘Big fights are available. The big 4 at the top don’t wanna fight each other so what can you say? I sit at the bottom of the scrap; I’ll just take them.
The O2 brings a load of great memories and disappointing moments. One minute your jumping up on the ropes, the next you’re under them…I’m motivated, if he comes to fight we’ll fight.’’
His opponent, Senad Gashi was stopped by Takam last year, an opponent Chisora brutally knocked out on the Whyte vs. Parker undercard in 2018. Gashi, 17-2 (17KOs) has also faced and lost via disqualification to future Tyson Fury opponent, Tom Schwarz, where the 28-year-old was DQ’d in round six but tried to continue the fight with Schwarz after the referee had made it clear the bout was over. If he allows that kind of indiscipline to take over again, he could be facing his 3rd loss in 4 bouts. But, Senad seemed in high spirits on Thursday when he spoke,
‘‘I took the Takam fight on seven days’ notice, but I had to take my chance…I can definitely win against Chisora. I’ve visualised this fight many times in my head, I’ve fought in my head 10 times against Chisora, 9 times I won, 1 time I got disqualified.’’
Both heavyweight fights are setup as gateway matchups to bigger things, and just maybe, a fight with each other.
Pacquiao Demolishes Matthysse In Seven
By: Sean Crose
Venezuela’s Carlos Canizalez, 20-0-1, opened up the ESPN+ live stream broadcast of the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse fight by facing China’s 1-0 Bin Lu at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night (American time). The bout, which was for a WBA version of the flyweight title, started in exciting style, with both fighters engaging fully and trading powerful shots. By the end of the fourth, however, the defending champion, Canizalez, starting working effectively on his man.
Photo Credit: ESPN Twitter Account
By the middle of the fight it was clear that Canizalez was the stronger of the two while Lu Bin would occasionally reach in to land. Canizalez worked the body, and the by the ninth, Lu Bin was visibly weakening. Canizalez hammered his man again in the 11th. Lu Bin as game and not without skill, but he was still the victim of a technical knockdown in the round (the ropes held the man up). With just seconds left in the 12th , Canizalez sent his man to the mat. Lu Bin got up, but the referee stopped the fight.
Next up came a featherweight bout for another WBA title. Edivaldo Ortega, 26-1-1, of Mexico was facing the 21-0 Jhack Tempora for the vacant belt. Tempora came out swinging in the first. Right off the bat, the man was engaging in effective body work. Ortega looked better in the second, but Tempora ended the round rather strong. The first third of the fight proved to be tight and close, but Tempora looked to have the edge.
Ortega gained ground over the next few rounds, but by the sixth Tempora was able to work from range.
Things remained close…until the ninth when Tempora dropped his man. Ortega got up, but Tempora wasn’t going to let him go. Letting loose with this punches, Tempora stopped Ortega before round’s end.
It was time for the main event. Pacquiao, 59-7-2, stepped into the ring to face Matthysse, 39-4-0, for yet another WBA belt, this time in the welterweight division. Matthysse never had a chance. The Argentine landed well on several occasions, but Pacquiao proved to be a tsunami, completely overwhelming his man. The first round saw the Filipino dominating. Matthysse fought well enough in the second, but Pacquiao still had the edge. By the third, Matthysse was down for the first time. He got up, but Pacquiao was flurrying so aggressively that the titlist couldn’t mount anything consistent.
Still, Matthysse held his own in the fourth. He didn’t do enough to win the round, though. By the fifth, Pacquiao made his man take a knee. The sixth was a close, but not close enough to give to Matthysse. And by the seventh, it was all over. Anyone with eyes could see it was only matter of time, but at just over the two and a half minute mark of the round, Matthysse was sent to the mat for the last time. Pacquiao had his first knockout win in years.
ESPN+ Boxing Preview: Pacquiao vs. Matthysse
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Manny Pacquiao will be co-promoting his next fight with Golden Boy Promotions at Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia and will be fighting in the United States on ESPN+. Pacquiao’s long time promoter, Top Rank, is involved with the distribution of the fight in the United States but is not assuming their normal promoting duties for Pacquiao.
Not only is Pacquiao not using the full services of Top Rank Promotions, but he’s also entering this fight without the assistance of his long time hall of fame trainer, Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao has already stated that this will not be his last fight, but a loss here could seriously hamper his drawing power as a money fighter. He’s also facing a strong puncher with knockout power in the welterweight division.
Three other title fights are also on this card. Carlos Canizales will be defending his WBA “Regular” Junior Flyweight Title against Bin Lu. Moruti Mthalane and Muhammad Waseem will be fighting for the vacant IBF Flyweight Title. Also, Jhack Tepora will be facing Edivaldo Ortega for the vacant WBA Interim Featherweight Title.
The following is a preview of the main fight of the night between Lucas Matthysse and Manny Pacquiao for the WBA “Regular” Welterweight title.
Lucas Matthysse (39-4) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2); WBA “Regular” Welterweight Title
Manny Pacquiao has been featured on 23 PPV fights and for a long time was one of boxing’s most popular draws. However, he’s thirty nine years old and turns forty in December and this will be his second consecutive fight not on PPV.
His drawing power in the United States is waning, and he’s taking on a risky fight after his controversial, and outright terrible, decision loss to Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao is four years older than Matthysse and will be giving up an inch in height and two inches in reach. Pacquiao has 38 knockouts in his resume and Matthysse has 36, but Pacquiao hasn’t had a stoppage victory since he defeated Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Pacquiao only fought one time in 2017 and twice in 2016, but Matthysse has only fought once in 2018 and once in 2017. Both boxers haven’t been very active recently.
Matthysse power can be devastating. He has defeated the likes of Tewa Kiram, Emmanuel Taylor, Ruslan Providnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Monlina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., and DeMarcus Corley. He has disputable losses to Zab Judah and Devon Alexander and clearer losses to Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol.
Pacquiao doesn’t fight with the same blind rage that he used to when he was younger, but he still possess good speed and movement. He has four losses in his past nine fights. Some of his more notable losses were to Floyd Mayweather Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley Jr., and Erik Morales.
His wins include Jessie Vargas, Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Osca De La Hoya, Maco Antonio Barrera, and Erik Morales.
Father time is catching up with Pacquiao and he’s not taking on an easy opponent in a non-ppv fight. Luckily for Pacquiao Matthysse isn’t as big of a welterweight as Jeff Horn, but he still packs a lot of power in his punch.
Can Pacquiao still hang with the best in the welterweight division? A lot of boxing pundits are saying no. His fight with Matthysse should give us a more definitive answer to that question.
Mano a Mano, Manny a Mano
By: Oliver McManus
Mano a mano, or should we say Manny a mano? Basically what I’m trying to say is Manny Pacquaio is BACK in the ring this weekend as he vies for yet another world title – the WBA Welterweight belt – in a battle with, Argentine champion, Lucas Martin Matthysse.
Fighting for the first time since his, allegedly controversial, loss to Jeff Horn last July, Pacquiao is again fighting away from home with this super-bout taking place in the Middle-Eastern hub of Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.
The Filipino eight-weight world champion will be competing in his 69th bout and aged 39, nearly 40, there is a genuine concern that whilst he may still love being in the ring, the ring may not love having him in there and I say that because against Horn, whether you like it or not, he looked a shadow of his former self with his defence being easily penetrated, his footwork visibly slower and his head getting muddled relatively easily.
Of course being of such a supreme ability means that even the slightest dip in quality will be magnified a thousand times and let’s not suddenly believe that Pac Man is a bad fighter overnight, he’s not, he still possesses quality that many fighters could only ever dream of and what you can never takeaway is the fight intelligence that the 5’5.5 fighter has.
Most notable, in terms of differences, is the lack of Freddie Roach in the corner of the Filipino with Pacquiao seeking to go down a different route despite having secured his highest of successes with his iconic trainer and has, instead, opted to have Buboy Fernandez coach him in the build up to this fight.
A natural talent burgeoning with aggression and a glee for the sport, Pacquiao will go about this bout no different to any that came previously, he will seek to dictate the pace of the fight from the early stages, cutting off the ring whilst jumping in and out of all four corners and flurrying his trademark body punches with grit and desire.
The question mark around such a star is not whether he still possesses the ability, he will always have that, but rather one of how faded he has become? If anyone can beat father time, however, the father of boxing is surely that guy.
For a man coming off the back of such a bloody, brutal loss to Jeff Horn, Matthysse is one hell of a risk with La Maquina being one of the most vicious punchers currently in action, certainly a man with bad intentions who goes into fights wholeheartedly expecting a knockout.
Widely touted as the next big thing, Matthysse’s career took a bit of a bump when he was narrowly out-pointed by Danny Garcia in September 2013 and whilst the rebuild from that went well he was comfortably beaten by Viktor Postol, via 10th round TKO, in October of 2015.
This is a guy who loses to the elite and only the elite – Zab Judah and Devon Alexander are the only other names to have bested the 35 year old – and in his hand, boy does he possess some power. There’s an argument to be made that Matthysse has hands made of bricks such is the extent of his demolition.
Against Tewa Kiram, at The Forum, in January of this year we witnessed an incredible display as with the right hand sending Kiram down to the canvas in the eight before a murderous left finished the job within the same stanza to set up this legacy-defining contest with Pacquiao.
At his best when involved with a brawl, the Argentinian is capable of making even the dirtiest, feistiest, most fearsome of scraps look like a majestic work of art with his elusive body movement, tempestuous shot selection and vicious intent marking him out as a guy you do not want to let into any sort of a rhythm.
This reminds me of a gentle watercolour of a raging bull running through the streets of Pamplona, Pacquiao the artist, Matthysse the bull. But who is it that can claim the glory for such a visual spectacle, the artist or the bull?
We’ll find out on Saturday.
Oscar De La Hoya Quotes Ahead of Pacquiao-Matthysse
Oscar De La Hoya:
Lucas is a strong and determined fighter. Believe me that he is a very determined fighter. The mental aspect is the most important aspect of this fight. We know that Lucas Matthysse works very hard. They call him “La Maquina” for a reason. He is still training like never before. The fact that he always wanted this fight, a dream fight for him—believe me he will be in the best condition for this. He is very focused. This is an even fight. This is a dangerous but winnable fight. These two fighters love pleasing the fans. They are come-forward fighters. This fight will have a lot of action.
A lot of people think that Lucas Matthysse is just a knockout artist. But he’s an intelligent fighter too. He knows how to box and counterpunch. This fight is interesting in terms of styles. The people who really know boxing know that Matthysse can change his style and even confuse him. He may even be able to confuse him and land some counterpunches.
Photo Credit: Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions
Pacquiao has a very unique style. When I fought him, I thought he was going to get tired. He never got tired. So, I don’t know what Pacquiao we are going to see for this fight. I don’t know how distracted he may be. I do know that Matthysse is fully focused and determined. This is the fight of his life. It’s all going to depend on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings. Will it be a distracted Pacquiao? Or a Pacquiao that everyone is used to seeing? That’s why the odds are 2-1. It is a great fight.
I was already a promoter when I fought him. So, I’ve always been very optimistic that I would still be working with Manny after so many years. I always felt that life comes around full circle and puts us together. The fact that Manny has his own promotional company and the fact that Golden Boy Promotions has been involved in so many of his fights made me optimistic that we would work together again. I’m still hoping that we promote more fights together. Once he’s retired, we can do a lot more together.
I noticed Pacquiao was special when part of the promotions of Pacquiao vs. Barrera. What I saw was his determination. His conditioning was incredible. His explosiveness was incredible. He had a great work ethic. He was very well prepared. I really don’t know how he is now. In boxing, you’re as good as your last fight. That’s what boxing is. That’s why this fight is important for Pacquiao to show that he is still the same Manny Pacquiao. You have to perform and show the people that you still have it. This is a sink or swim type of fight for both guys.
If I were Lucas, I would not get frustrated because Pacquiao can frustrate you. He can do that because he throws so many punches. Lucas has to be cool, calm and collected. He has to force the action. He has to show Manny that he is younger, stronger and fresher. If you don’t show that to Manny, he can walk all over you. That’s who he is. That’s why he’s so good.
I am very proud of promoting stronger and diplomatic cultural ties with our Asian neighbors. I would like to thank our friends at Golden Boy Promotions, represented by our friend Oscar De La Hoya. I am ready. I have never predicted the outcome of any of my fights, but this training camp is special for many reasons. I am motivated. I am happy. I am hungry. I am excited to show the world a new Manny Pacquiao on July 15 (July 14 in the US) at the Axiata Arena here in Kuala Lumpur.”
I’m grateful to be a part of this event. I want to thank Manny Pacquiao and his team. He is a great fighter and a legend. His team is great and professional. I want to thank Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to work with a lot of elite fighters as is the case now with Lucas Matthysse.
Pac’s Back- And Top Rank is Still Around
By: Charles Jay
I imagine many of you have Facebook, with a healthy number of boxing friends on your news feed. What I see on mine, constantly, are fighters who can’t come up with enough complaints about promoters. Dirty, greedy people – who needs them, right? They show equal disdain for matchmakers and booking agents. Many of them are out of work, boxing-wise, which might explain some of the vitriol. Yes, their frustration is at times understandable, but the truth of the matter is, not a lot of fighters have made any money at all without someone promoting a fight.
I usually have a very simple answer for them – hey, there’s no law against you guys putting on your own show, or pooling your resources to do so.
There almost was, you know; back when Sen. John McCain was pushing his bill for national regulation of boxing, he had to agree at one point to a compromise with his Democratic counterpart Harry Reid of Nevada, who was being lobbied by promoters within his own jurisdiction who were protecting their own interests. So the idea of fighters being able to being their own promoters was taken off the table (except for those who were grandfathered in).
That particular bill never passed.
As a result, fighters continue to be allowed to both manage themselves and also promote themselves, and those who have reached a sufficient level of success can pull it off. We’ve seen this happening in recent years – Lennox Lewis had Lion Promotions, and of course Floyd Mayweather has his own promotional outfit, although he hired other promoters to do the “nuts and bolts” on the events. Winky Wright, a recent Hall of Fame inductee, ventured into this somewhat less successfully.
Most famously, Oscar De La Hoya, in the process of breaking away from Bob Arum and Top Rank, formed Golden Boy Promotions to create some independence for himself, and while his popularity as an active fighter was essential to leveraging dates out of networks, which was necessary to help the company take off, Golden Boy has certainly survived beyond that and become a full-fledged entity on its own. Mayweather Promotions would like to be able to duplicate that for the long term.
This won’t make me popular in promotional circles, but every fighter of any stature may want to consider such a thing; again, if they have the leverage to make it work. Which brings us to the case of Manny Pacquiao.
Some of you may not be aware of this, but Pacquiao has actually been a “promoter” of sorts for years, and through his company, MP Promotions, he’s had a deal with Top Rank that brought him something in the neighborhood of 27.5% of all revenues from his fights (that includes not only pay-per-view, but also live gate, sponsorship, foreign TV, etc.) and I imagine, this was for the most part against a guarantee. In effect, he was a promotional partner.
That was not really a “risk” situation for him. He brought the “talent” portion, while Top Rank took care of everything that was outside of the ring.
Now it’s a bit different. MP Promotions is the lead promoter for Saturday’s fight with WBA “regular” welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO’s) that is taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. And there’s a little more risk involved, as in risk that the fight would fall out unless Pacquiao’s company was able to guarantee the $3 million that was to go to Matthysse and his promoter, Golden Boy, and put it in escrow. Reportedly that led to some anxious moments, although the Pacquiao camp expresses that it was never any problem.
This kind of arrangement came about because of a dispute about Pacquaio’s contract with Top Rank. PacMan announced in March that the paper had expired. As his attorney explained it, the fight with Jeff Horn in Australia was the last one in the deal. Bob Arum maintained otherwise. And this came in the aftermath of an offer made by Arum for Pacquiao to fight Mike Alvarado on the undercard of Horn’s fight with Terrence Crawford, which he considered an “insult.”
There was a little mud-slinging from one of Pacquiao’s publicists, Aquiles Zonio, who said that Arum was trying to disrupt the fight by planting seeds of doubt with the Malaysian interests who had put the money together, and that in the past, knowing that Pacquiao had irreconcilable problems with the IRS, he had “sabotaged” efforts to fight outside the States.
So as you can see, there’s some bad blood circulating.
But not enough to prevent business from forging ahead.
You see, like some of the other fighters who wanted to turn into promoters, and who may have become do-it-yourselfers only to facilitate their own fights and nothing else, Pacquiao realizes that he doesn’t really have the infrastructure to carry off a first-class promotion from Point A to Point Z.
So while we’re not sure what the whole contract status really is, Top Rank is still around.
According to Arum, his company is there to “handle the logistics (through my old USA Network colleague, Brad Jacobs), handle the undercard and handle the television,” which means they’re handling an awful lot. He wasn’t going to make a move, however, until Pacquiao got his money in place, and everybody tells me he wouldn’t have been too upset if that hadn’t happened, since he would have liked to put together Matthysse with Crawford.
And so we move forward. Pacquiao has the fight being simulcast on all three major TV networks in the Philippines, ensuring maximum visibility. And in the U.S., Arum has placed it on ESPN Plus, where he gets $2 million a show. Sales for that app are said to be slow, so we’re not really sure how many viewers they’re actually going to have.
This is not PPV-dependent, and Pacquiao, who is said to have pocketed $160 million for his fight with Floyd Mayweather, will probably get in the neighborhood of $10 million for this. But then again, he’s the promoter, right? So he could also make more on the “upside.” And he’ll be without Freddie Roach for the first time in a while, as Buboy Fernandez took over the camp.
If Manny wins, there is almost no doubt that he’ll continue to fight. And if he does, we wonder if these little battles with Top Rank will continue to take place.
QUICK NEWS AND NOTES: Speaking of fighters who became promoters, here’s one who DOES handle the whole show, all the way down to the details – Steve Forbes, the former IBF junior lightweight champion, has announced that he is back in Portland with his company, 2Pound Sports & Entertainment, as they will do their second show at the Jackson Armory. The maiden voyage in December combined amateur and pro bouts. Forbes won his title in 2000 over John Brown and lost consecutive decisions to Oscar De La Hoya and Andre Berto back in 2008………………
Jermaine Franklin (16-0, 13 KO’s), the 2014 National Golden Gloves super heavyweight champion, will try to stay unbeaten on Friday night at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit as he faces local guy Craig Lewis (14-2-1, 8 KOs) in a ten-rounder. “He keeps getting better and better and better,” says promoter Mike Acri of Franklin, who is from Saginaw, MI and recorded two amateur wins over Cam F. Awesome, who won the trials for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team…………….
ONE Championship, which regularly engages in MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions and is a huge success in the Asian TV market, has announced that it is entering the boxing arena, and they have pulled off a major coup by inking a deal with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the WBC super flyweight (115-lb.) champion, who has two significant wins over Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, which puts him on many of the top ten “pound for pound” lists. Pacquiao bought a stake in the company back in 2014.
Pacquiao Returns (Without Roach) To Face Matthysse
By: Sean Crose
They were the hottest team in all of boxing. The Filipino legend, and the former pro from working class Massachusetts. The ailing mentor and his explosive protege. Yes, Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach made for quite the duo for a very long period of time. Determined to make it in the sport of boxing, Pacquiao traveled across the Pacific Ocean to the United States, where Roach found an oversize diamond in the rough. The rest, as they say, is history. Countless titles. Countless wars. Explosive finishes. And money, tons and tons of money. Now, though, the relationship between the aging great, Pacquiao, and his longtime trainer, Roach, is over – at least temporarily.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
This weekend, those who are willing to pay money for the pleasure of ESPNs streaming service, ESPN+, will be able to watch Pacquiao face off against fellow aging fighter Lucas Matthysse of Argentina. As Yahoo’s Kevin Iole puts it, the bout will “likely will be seen by far fewer than 100,000 viewers in the U.S. ESPN has no places to release subscriber numbers for ESPN+, or viewership of any particular event.” The fight, which is going down in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was supposed to be on pay per view, but money problems prevented that from happening. No doubt the ratings would be huge if Pacquiao and Matthysse battled on regular ESPN, but the days of such things may be over. After making a celebrated agreement to showcase boxing on regular cable, promoter Bob Arum and ESPN have apparently decided fans are going to pay to see the big names once again (the impressive, and it is impressive, ESPN+ only runs about five bucks a month – for now).
Times have indeed changed. This might be most clearly evident in the absence of Roach from this event. It will be strange not seeing the man in Pacquiao’s corner, offering advice to his prized fighter while refusing to let Parkinson’s disease keep him from plying his own trade. Rather than having Roach in his corner right now, Pacquiao has placed his long time sidekick, Buboy Frenandez, in the general’s slot. The results of this pairing may be interesting, for the truth is that reports of Pacquiao’s complete collapse as a top fighter might have been greatly exaggerated over the past few years. On top of that, Matthysse has been on a bit of a comeback as of late and is rightfully known as a warrior in the ring. Will Buboy deliver if things get searing? Or has Pacquiao more or less decided to be his own cornerman, a combination fighter/trainer, who only needs people to offer him water and cut treatment if need be?
What’s perhaps most jarring about all this is the fact that Pacquiao seems – on the surface of things – to have been rather cold to Roach, his ailing former mentor. Roach reportedly was never informed by Pacquiao of Pacquiao’s decision. It just happened. Word is Manny was unhappy with Roach, but no one really knows what the truth is. The one reality, it seems, is that professional courtesy was not involved with Pacquiao’s decision to move on sans Roach for the Matthysse fight. For what it’s worth, Pacquiao says he might employ Roach again. Pacquiao’s career has taken a strange turn, however, and it’s unclear how many fights he has left. He’s a senator in his homeland, and he’s not getting any younger.
As for Matthysse – he probably couldn’t have hoped for a better match. The man was high on the lists of many analysts until he got bested by Philly’s Danny Garcia in 2013. Then, several years later, he was beaten soundly by the skilled Ukrainian Viktor Postol. He took some time off, and has since returned with two wins, his last one being a knockout of undefeated Tewa Kiram in January. He’s an exciting fighter, Matthysse, one who may make things exciting when he faces Pacquiao, whose last bout was a highly controversial loss to hometown hero Jess Horn in Brisbane, Austrailia last summer.
Pacquiao (59-7-2) will be facing Matthysse (39-4-0) for Matthysse’s version of a WBA welterweight title when the opening bell rings on Saturday night. The ESPN+ broadcast begins at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time.
Does Manny Pacquiao Have One Last Fight in Him?
By: Bryant Romero
Does the Great Manny Pacquiao have one last great fight in him? Promoter Bob Arum posed that question to fans on his twitter account and the boxing world will find out this Saturday in an unusual site for a Manny Pacquiao fight. Kuala Lumpur at the Axiata Arena in Malaysia is the site for Pacquiao’s next fight when he takes on dangerous puncher and current World Champion Lucas Martin Mathysse (39-4, 36 KOs) in what should be a thrilling fight between two fighters who’s best days may be behind them. Pacquaio (59-7-2, 38 KOs) is seeking his 60th victory in what has been a legendary but now declining career where he’s no longer the superstar he once was, but is out to prove that he was the true winner in his controversial loss last July to Jeff Horn and perhaps there is still a couple of great nights left in his incredible career.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Twitter Account
Not only is the site of the fight different compared to many other Pacquiao fight weeks, but the Filipino icon is the lead promoter of the event. Bob Arum and Top Rank are simply just distributing the fight in the United States and it will be shown on the ESPN + app, which has indicated that perhaps Pacquiao and Arum seem to be at odds with each other. Pacquaio continues to tell the boxing press that he’s no longer affiliated with Top Rank and is currently a free agent. Arum of course has downplayed the situation and maintains that his company still has a working relationship with Manny.
This bout of course was not without controversy as in the weeks leading up into the event there were concerns that the event would be cancelled altogether as Pacquiao and his team missed numerous deadlines for payments. It wasn’t until early this month that Matthysse and his team were assured the money will put in place for his purse for the fight and now the fight is a go with Manny only slight favorite to defeat La Maquina.
Many believe Pacquiao defeated Jeff Horn last summer, but just 4 months shy from his 40th birthday, a long layoff, and facing a big puncher. It could be anyone’s guess on what Pacquaio truly has left for the 69th bout of his career.
Pacquiao fired his longtime trainer Freddie Roach and perhaps it was the right move now that Roach is no longer one of top trainers in the game. Buboy Fernandez his long time friend is now is head trainer and Buboy feels we will see a hungrier more dangerous Pacquiao, which could spell trouble for Matthysse.
Obviously, the Filipino legend is nowhere near the fighter he was 8 years ago, but Manny is still a capable fighter with loads of experience, speed, footwork, and tremendous skills. Expect an impressive performance from Manny as he will notch his 60th victory and perhaps even end his knockout drought in a fun fight with Matthysse in Malaysia.
July 14: Pacquiao-Matthysse WBA Welterweight Title Fight Exclusively on ESPN+
The next chapter in the storied career of former eight-division world champion and future first-ballot Hall of Famer, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, will stream live and exclusively in the United States on Saturday, July 14 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN. This will be Pacquiao’s first fight since headlining cable television’s highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast since 2006, when he fought Jeff Horn in July of 2017 on ESPN.
Photo Credit: Manny Pacquiao Twitter Account
Pacquiao will challenge Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse for the WBA welterweight title at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In addition, in the world championship co-feature, Filipino power puncher Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16 KOs) will face Edivaldo “Indio” Ortega (26-1-1, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBA featherweight title. Pacquiao and Matthysse are expected to enter the ring at roughly 11:30 p.m. ET. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.
Pacquiao-Matthysse will cap a full day of boxing on the ESPN family of networks, as Regis “Rougarou” Prograis will defend the WBC Diamond super lightweight title against Juan Jose Velasco, and lightweight sensation Teofimo Lopez will face William Silva, live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 7 p.m. ET and via streaming on the ESPN App from the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans. Undercard action from New Orleans will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 4:30 p.m. ET.
“I am very happy that all of my fans in America will have a chance to watch my next fight on ESPN+, and I am looking forward to putting on a show,” Pacquiao said. “Matthysse is a great opponent. I am training with all of my heart because I want to be champion again.”
“This extraordinary event only affirms ESPN’s commitment to providing boxing fans with the biggest and best fights in the sport,” said Bob Arum, Top Rank’s founder and CEO. “Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest champions in boxing history, and his fight against Matthysse promises to be a sensational one.”
“This matchup is a perfect example of the world-class caliber of events we envisioned for ESPN+ when we announced our agreement with Top Rank,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling. “Pacquiao vs. Matthysse, which will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+, shows the commitment we have to delivering fans the best of boxing year-round on our direct-to-consumer platform.”
Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs), the living legend from General Santos City, Philippines, will look to score his first knockout victory since 2009. Before losing the WBO welterweight world championship to Jeff Horn via controversial unanimous decision last July, Pacquiao recaptured the title on November 5, 2016 by defeating then-champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. In a career that has spanned more than two decades, Pacquiao has victories against legendary fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Ricky Hatton.
Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) won the vacant WBA welterweight title Jan. 27 in Los Angeles with an eighth-round knockout over Thailand’s Tewa Kiram. One of boxing’s best punchers, pound-for-pound, he is an all-action brawler who has participated in multiple Fight of the Year contenders, including an 11th-round knockout win over John Molina in 2014 and a 12-round majority decision victory over Ruslan Provodnikov in 2015. Matthysse has won two straight since a 10th-round knockout loss to then-undefeated Viktor Postol on Oct. 3, 2015.
Upcoming exclusive boxing on ESPN+ includes the July 28 battle for the vacant World Boxing Organization 130-pound title as Puerto Rican Star Christopher Diaz faces Masayuki Ito at the Kissimmee Civic Center. Diaz-Ito will stream live and exclusively in the United States at 9:30 p.m. ET with undercard action starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Manny Pacquiao: “My Time Is Not Done Yet”
Manny Pacquiao and Lucas Matthysse kicked off the promotion for their welterweight bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Wednesday by attending a press conference in Manila. Pacquiao (59-7-2) won’t have fought in over a year when he steps into the ring with the rugged Matthysse (39-4) on July 14th. The Filipino multi-titlist last fought in July 2017, when he dropped a highly controversial decision to Jeff Horn in Horn’s hometown of Brisbane, Australia. Yet Pacquiao, who is closing in on forty years of age, made it clear at the conference that he has no intention of retiring.
“My time is not done yet,” said Pacquiao. “That’s what I’m trying to prove.”
Pacquiao is so sure of his skill at his age that he stated he was interested in fighting Vasyl Lomachenko, who some say may be on his way to being the greatest boxer in history. “That’s one of my plans,” he said, “fighting Lomachenko.” Pacquiao also stated he wanted to fight in Manilia. “As long as it’s here in Manila,” he claimed, “no problem. It’s going to be exciting.”
Matthysse claimed he saw the Pacquiao fight as “an honor,” In fact, Matthysse made it clear that he respected his opponent. “He’s a legendary fighter,” the Argentine power puncher said of Pacquiao. Yet Matthysse also made it known he feels Pacquiao hasn’t been the same since being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez back in 2012. “He’s still a great fighter,”Matthysse said of his foe, “but since the knockout of Marquez, he’s not the same fighter anymore.”
One huge point of interest was whether or not Pacquiao would have Freddie Roach in his corner. It was announced last week that Pacquiao had fired his long time trainer. Days later, however, Pacquiao came forward to say the report was false, that he had yet to make up his mind who he would employ as the head of his corner. “Freddie and I are like family,” he said, before indicating that his longtime sidekick, Buboy Fernandez, might indeed be his main trainer for the bout with Matthysse.
“Assuming I made the decision and chose Buboy Fernandez for this fight,” said Pacquiao, “I’m still not closing the door on Freddie.” Pacquiao indicated that he might eventually use Roach at a later date. “ For the next fight,” he said, “we can always go back to Freddie.” The fight with Matthysse will be for the WBA World Welterweight Title, a belt Matthysse has held since besting Tewa Kiram in January.
“Manny’s won so many titles,” Matthysse said. “I’ve only won one title and I’m not going to give it up. I’ll die for it if I have to.”
Pacquiao-Matthysse Set To Fight July 14th In Malaysia
By: Sean Crose
“Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion @MatthysseLucas will put his title on the line against @mannypacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday night July 14 (US time).”
So Golden Boy Promoter Oscar De La Hoya Tweeted Monday evening, announcing a summer fight between a former great and an exciting veteran making a second go of his career. Matthysse (39-4) was a rising star until he was bested by Danny Garcia and, some time later, Viktor Postol at junior welterweight. After taking over a year and a half off, the Argentine slugger came back against Emmanuel Taylor in 2017, then won the WBA welterweight strap from Tewa Karam earlier this year.
Pacquiao (59-7-2) clearly needs no introduction to even casual sports fans. One of the greatest boxers of his era, the 39 year old Filipino has recently slowed down his output as politics in his homeland have taken over much of the man’s time. Yet the fighter known as PacMan still wants to ply his trade and, after a highly controversial loss to Jeff Horn last summer, the multi-titlist is now going to battle for another major belt.
All of this is good news for Matthysse’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, which has had a hard time lately, since it’s star fighter, Canelo Alvarez, has tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol on two occasions. Canelo’s much anticipated middleweight title rematch with Gennady Golovkin was subsequently canceled on Tuesday. With questions surrounding Canelo-GGG 2 now answered, another question is stepping into the forefront:
Will Freddie Roach be in Pacquiao’s corner this July or not? Word is out that Pacquiao’s sidekick, Buboy Fernandez, may end up taking over the role of trainer for the bout with Matthysse. Pacquiao’s manager, Michael Koncz, is quoted in the LA Times as saying:
“Manny will make the final decision on this. He’s contemplating letting Buboy shine at the finish of his career.” It’s clear team Pacquiao may now be setting its sights on the future. “If Buboy can get a stable of boxers out of this,” Koncz said, “no hard feelings to Freddie, but Manny has not made a final decision.” Koncz also indicated that, should Pacquiao defeat the rugged Matthysse, he might next be setting his gaze upon wunderkind Vasyl Lomachenko. It may be unwise to look too far into the future, though, considering the fact that Pacquiao won’t have fought in a year by the time he steps into the ring to face Matthysse.
HBO Boxing After Dark Results: Dillian Whyte Stops Lucas Browne
By: Ste Rowen
Dillian ‘The Body Snatcher’ Whyte sent a cold message to the rest of the heavyweight scene with a savage one punch knockout of unbeaten Australian, Lucas Browne at London’s O2 Arena.
It was a tentative start from the first bell even as Browne developed a cut late in the round on his left eye. Whyte took over from thereafter though with the cleaner, more precise punching. Browne seemed to be without a game plan, plodding forwards without any obvious intent and no sign of the power he promised to bring pre-fight.
Into the 5th round Whyte was firmly on top, working behind the jab to pick at the cut on Browne’s eye and by now, his busted nose. Then in the 6th round, Whyte fired off a brutal left hook which sent Browne, face first onto the canvas.
Without little hesitation the referee waved it off and Whyte’s celebration became slightly muted as the medics rushed into the ring.
Thankfully, Browne got to his feet and the attention could turn back once again to the victor, in Dillian Whyte, now 23-1 (17KOs) and his future.
‘Hopefully Lucas Browne’s okay,’ said Whyte, ‘I’m a good fighter but no one has seen it yet. I might not have 22 knockouts but I can crack…When they stand up in front of me it’s a different story.’
‘I wanna bring pain, my left hook is back. When I landed I walked away straight away ‘cause I knew that was that.’
The WBC silver champion will now turn his attention firmly to the current titlists, either WBC champion Deontay Wilder or the winner of next week’s unification showdown between WBA & IBF champ, Anthony Joshua and WBO holder, Joseph Parker in Cardiff.
‘Deontay Wilder where you at? June? Where you at Wilder let’s go! No more excuses! I’m number one baby let’s go! People are tired of Deontay Wilder fighting these halfway guys.’
On a potential rematch with Joshua,
‘Joshua want it? I don’t care. I wanna fight Joshua another 3, 4 times in my career.’
On the undercard…
Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Callum ‘The One’ Johnson scored the biggest surprise of the night when he stopped British champion, Frank Buglioni in the 1st round. Johnson, 17-0 (12KOs), coming off an 18-month injury layoff, came out firing and once one landed, Buglioni couldn’t do enough to keep the challenger for the Lonsdale belt off him. Callum had already knocked Buglioni down once before he sent his foe sprawling backwards again on unsure legs and the referee called an end to the fight just before, Buglioni’s trainer, Don Charles threw in the towel. The win blows the British light heavyweight scene wide open now with most of the talk before tonight’s bout being about who Frank face next; Now it’s all about where Callum goes from here with the likes of Anthony Yarde, Bob Ajisafe and even fellow gym mate, Hosea Burton pining for a chance at the British.
With the British lightweight belt on the line, Lewis ‘Sandman’ Ritson faced off against the former British champion, Scott Cardle in the ‘Sandman’s’ second defence. After an impressive all-action 1st round from the challenger, Ritson proved the more ruthless and efficient of the two men. Taking a more composed approach to the 2nd; working behind a strong jab, the champion landed a heavy left hook that left Cardle staggering backwards into the ropes forcing the referee to give Scott an 8-count. Ritson then put his foot down, landing power shot after power shot until Cardle’s corner threw in the towel.
In one of the earliest fights of the night, Dereck Chisora, now 28-8 (20KOs) knocked out Frenchman, Zakaria Azzouzi in the 2nd round of a woeful matchup. Fans were hopeful that Dereck would now move onto to a bout with David Haye protégé, Joe Joyce, on the HayeBellew2 undercard, although post-fight when Haye offered the fight once again to Chisora, Dereck laid out his terms,
‘If he (Joe Joyce) beats me you write me a cheque of £1. If I beat him, you give me your purse against Tony (Bellew) and your tv rights.’
To which Haye simply replied, ‘No.’
Highly rated welterweight prospect, Chris Kongo endured 6 difficult rounds with Serge Ambomo to move to 8-0 (6KOs) after picking up 60-55 victory. Ambomo, now 6-6 (2KOs) is, as Carl Froch put it in commentary, part of the ‘Who needs ‘em club?’ and although it wasn’t pretty, Kongo will have learnt a great deal, along the way to picking up another win.
And finally, Anthony Fowler scored a very dubious 5th round stoppage of unbeaten Frenchman, Kalilou Dembele to move to 5-0 (4KOs). Dembele was down in the 2nd and then again in the 5th but seemed perfectly capable of carrying on before referee, Bob Williams waved it off, despite protests from Kalilou. Fowler will be out again next month on the Khan vs Lo Greco card in Liverpool against an unnamed opponent.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Dillian Whyte vs. Lucas Browne
By: Ste Rowen
Following the madness of Wilder vs Ortiz in New York, and the anticipation of the upcoming Joshua vs Parker unification bout, you may be forgiven for forgetting about a potential barn stormer in between, in the form of Dillian Whyte v Lucas Browne. The two face-off this weekend at London’s O2 arena in a fight that should set the winner up for a world title shot.
Last time out, the two heavyweight contenders had very different match-ups.
The WBC number one contender, Dillian Whyte, 22-1 (16KOs) took on Robert Helenius for the ‘not-so-coveted’ WBC silver title on the undercard of Joshua v Takam. For 12 labouring rounds, Dillian went in search of his opponent as the Swede evaded Whyte’s attack, but never replied with his own offense. The Brit’s accuracy was substandard that night, and way below the standard he set for himself in his fight of the year contender vs Dereck Chisora just less than a year earlier.
Just like the Chisora fight, October’s clash with Helenius went to the scorecards and though it saw Whyte pick up a comprehensive unanimous decision victory, it was a performance that did very little to help him entice new fans. However, a lack lustre performance has done nothing to deter Whyte’s belief in himself, or his eagerness to knockout his Australian foe,
‘I can’t wait, I hate Lucas Browne and I want to hurt him. He’s said some nasty things and he’s going to have to pay for them.’
‘If I don’t knock him out I will not be happy…Beating him should make me a mandatory challenger. I’m highly ranked across the board. I’ll be a more than credible world title challenger.’
In stark contrast, Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne’s last fight was his return fight from a number of disputed failed drug tests that followed his come from behind 2016 victory over Ruslan Chagaev in Chechnya, for the WBA ‘Regular’ belt.
Browne, 25-0 (22KOs) knocked out no-hoper, Matt Greer in the second round at the Punchbowl social club, Sydney, a world away from Saturday’s night venue. The fight told us very little about where Browne is at since his impressive victory over Chagaev 14 months earlier. That bout saw Browne knocked down and cut before steamrolling through the Uzbek in the 10th with continuous right hooks.
That should’ve been the break out fight that setup potential showdowns with the likes of Wilder, Joshua, or even the not yet retired Wladimir Klitschko, but instead Brown returned two positive tests for clenbuterol and then eight months later, a positive sample for ostarine, for which Browne has tried to explain was from a pre-workout he took without checking the contents.
The 38-year-old is now ready to put the past few years behind him and get back on track for a world title shot,’
‘It’s a very silly fight for him. Being number one ranked, to take on someone like me who is a big puncher, I think it’s a very silly fight, but for me it’s perfect. He’s got rankings across the board as well, not just the WBC so I’m extremely happy for this fight.’
Browne isn’t the only one with a questionable record when it comes to drugs. Whyte was suspended for two years back in 2012 when he tested positive for a banned stimulant. Like Browne, Dillian claimed it was due to a supplement he took without properly checking the ingredients.
Concentrating on the two fighter’s actual boxing skills though, this has the potential to be a very gruelling but ugly fight. Neither fights with much concern for defence or seems to bothered about wasting shots, which seems strange for Browne who does have a tendency to cut easily, a weakness Whyte will jump on if the Australian does sustain a meaningful cut early on.
Whyte of course has been knocked out, his sole defeat coming at the hands of WBA & IBF champion Anthony Joshua back in 2015 for the British title, and in his two biggest fights since, Whyte has had to come through adversity against Chisora and briefly in the Helenius fight when he was shaken by a left hook. So, if Browne’s power is legit, he should be able to significantly test Whyte’s chin more than once through 12 rounds of action.
For the winner, a world title shot should be next. For the loser, heavyweight obscurity could await. Proving there’s a lot more than rivalry on the line on Saturday.
On the undercard…
Just a month on from his devastating first round stoppage of Joe Murray, Lewis Ritson, 14-0 (8KOs) returns to the ring for his second defence of his British lightweight belt against Scott Cardle, 22-1 (7KOs). Ritson’s currently on a five fight KO streak, and though heavily favoured against Cardle, it will be a real statement from the Newcastle native if he can score another stoppage victory.
Frank Buglioni, 21-2-1 (15KOs) will defend his British light heavyweight title for the third time against mandatory challenger, Callum Johnson. With the likes of Anthony Yarde, Hosea Burton and Bob Ajisafe waiting in the wings for a shot at the British, Johnson, 16-0 (11KOs) will be hoping to end the constant talk of potential future fights for Buglioni.
The aforementioned Dereck Chisora, 27-8 (19KOs) is also a late addition to the card in what is expected to be a stay busy 8-rounder, since his majority decision loss to European champion, Agit Kabayel in Monaco last November.
HBO Boxing After Dark Results:Matthysse KOs Kiram; Linares Prevails
By: Sean Crose
HBOs Boxing After Dark returned Saturday night with a double header from LA’s Forum. Things started off with Jorge Linares (43-3) defending his WBA lightweight crown against (31-1-2) Mercito Gesta. The first round was tight, but Gesta closed the chapter landing some well aimed, sharp shots. The second was also close, but Gesta landed hard in spots with crisp punching. By early in the third, it looked as if Linares’ timing was a bit off. Still, it was in the third when Linares himself started landing effectively. There was nothing particularly telling about the fourth, though Linares didn’t appear particularly in his rhythm.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter Account
Things picked up at the end of the fifth, though Linares had appeared to have developed an edge in the bout. The sixth was, like the rest of the bout up until that point, close. Yet Linares looked to be developing a workmanlike points lead. By the seventh, Linares was tossing off bursts of punches that were holding off Gesta. Gesta, however, was game and was having his moments. By the eighth, it was clear that the fight had entered a form of cruise control, with Linares in almost something of a holding pattern.
The ninth and tenth were essentially showcases for Linares’ greater strength. Gesta simply wasn’t strong enough to hurt the man, nor skilled enough to dazzle him. Linares’ was landing hard, no doubt, but he either didn’t have the power or desire to put a bow on things. The eleventh wasn’t all that different from the previous rounds. This had much to do with Linares’ consistency, which was effective, if not necessarily thrilling. Linares made sure Gesta wouldn’t shock the world in the 12th, assuring himself a unanimous decision win.
In the main event, Lucas Matthysse (38-4) faced off against the obscure, yet undefeated, Tewa Kiram (38-0) for the WBA welterweight title. The first round was a feeling out process, as Kiram was tossing a sharp jab as Matthysse tried to work his way inside. Kiram kept firing the jab in the second, as Matthysse kept moving forward. By the fourth, the fight took on the look of Dempsey-Tunney, with the well known veteran fighter searching for former glory while the taller, more defensive minded man, hit and moved effectively.
The crowd started to boo in the fifth, but it was hard to fault Kiram for engaging in such a smart fight. Kiram was making sure he was winning rounds while Matthysse wasn’t able – for whatever reason – to rise to the occasion. After the 6th, HBOs team indicated that Kiram had been sniffing from a jar that was taken from his corner and was then given to the California Athletic Commission in order for the authorities to ascertain what was inside. The commentary team spoke of the tedious nature of the bout in the 7th.
In the 8th, however, Matthysse finally found his mark and dropped Kiram to the mat. Kiram got up and fought gamely….only for Matthysse to send him down again – and out. Just like that, the fight was over.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Matthysse vs. Kiram, Linares vs. Gesta
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night HBO’s Boxing After Dark kicks off the 2018 year for HBO with two world title fights on their network.
Lucas Matthysse will be facing off against Tewa Kiram for the vacant WBA “Regular” Welterweight title and Jorge Linares will face Mercito Gesta for Linares WBA Lightweight Title.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
This card will take place live at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The following is a preview of both world title bouts.
Jorge Linares (43-3) vs. Mercito Gesta (31-1-2); WBA Lightweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between the very talented Jorge Linares and Mercito Gesta.
Linares hit a rough patch in his career in late 2011/early 2012 when he suffered back to back TKO defeats, but has one every fight since then and will be making his sixth defense of his WBA Lightweight Title.
Linares, at thirty two years old, is two years older than Gesta. He will also have a one inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage.
Linares lives in Tokyo and had a successful amateur background in Venezuela before turning pro. Gesta was born in the Philippines and currently lives in San Diego. He does not have the national amateur accolades of Linares.
Linares has also been slightly more active than Gesta. Gesta fought twice in 2017 and did not fight in 2016. Linares fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
Linares’ biggest question mark is his chin. He has three losses by knockout and they were to Juan Carlos Salgado, Antonion DeMarco, and Sergio Thompson. He usually starts his fights off strong but fades towards the end.
He has defeated the likes of Luke Campbell, Rocky Juarez, Anthony Crolla, Ivan Cano, Kevin Mitchell, and Nihito Arakawa.
Gesta does not have the professional resume of Linares. His lone loss was the Miguel Vazquez in his only title shot. He has defeated the likes of Gilberto Gonzalez, Miguel Mendoza, and Ty Barnett.
Linares has good power in his hands and has stopped twenty seven of his opponents. Gesta only have seventeen stoppage victories to his credit.
If Gesta was known for his power he would be a live dog in this fight. However, Gesta is not known for his power and was defeated quite easily when he last faced an opponent on the level of Jorge Linares.
This will be the first fight for Linares on HBO in a long time, and it’s a fight that tailor made for him to look sensational in.
Lucas Matthysse (38-4) vs. Tew Kiram (38-0); WBA “Regular” Welterweight Title
The main event of the evening is between Lucas Matthysse and the relatively unknown Tew Kiram.
Matthysse is from Argentina and is in the middle of a fourteen year career. Kiram is twenty five years old and ten years younger than Matthysse. Kiram turned professional at the age of fifteen.
Matthysse had a successful amateur career and is a former Argentine National Champion and competed in several notable international tournaments. Kiram turned pro before most Americans can drive a car, but has never tasted defeat.
Matthysse has incredible power in his hands and has stopped thirty five of his opponents and has only been stopped once. Kiram has twenty eight stoppage victories and won four of his past five fights by KO or TKO.
Matthysse has not been very active and only fought once in 2017 and zero times in 2016. Kiram fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016. However, every single fight of Kiram has taken place in Thailand.
Matthysse has defeated the likes of Emmanuel Taylor, Ruslan Provodnikov, Roberto Ortiz, John Molina Jr., Lamont Peterson, Mike Dallas Jr., Ajose Olusegun, and Humberto Soto. His losses were to Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, Danny Garcia, and Viktor Postol.
Kiram has no notable victories on his resume.
It’s hard to pick against Matthysse in this fight when so little is known about Kiram. Matthysse’s inactivity is of concern, but he’s facing an opponent who has never faced someone on his level.
Thai boxers can be surprising and are known for having incredible hearts. Kiram will need to display incredible heart and surprising talent to pull of the monumental upset.