Pacquiao vs Matthysse odds: The surprise underdogWritten by Leroy Cleveland
On July 15, sports legend Manny Pacquiao returns to face WBA 'Regular' welterweight champion and former super lightweight title-holder Lucas Matthysse.
“I’m the underdog in this fight,” said Pacquiao a few days ago.
Well, not quite Manny. Remarkably, you're a slight favorite for at least one bookie.
Pacquiao vs Matthysse odds
Sports.bet.com.au in Australia has slated Pacquiao at 1.47 and Matthysse at 2.55. Hence, Manny sits at -213 and Matthysse at +155.
Perhaps Manny insists he's the underdog because deep down he knows he probably should be. Maybe he believes the odds truly are against him.
If so, he’s right.
How quickly bettors forget what happened 10 months ago - Manny was beaten, albeit controversially, by a raw Jeff Horn.
Senator Pacquiao showed up in place of the fighter, PacMan, that day. And, regrettably, the senator will step in the ring again against Matthysse, one of the hardest punching fighters in boxing pound for pound.
Pacquiao vs Matthysse odds should favor Lucas not only because Manny looked shopworn against Horn, but because Manny is showing all the signs of a fighter at the end of the road.
For starters, one thing is almost certain. We won't see PacMan, the fighter, in July. Manny is a full-fledged senator with weighty political obligations who is more dedicated to politics than boxing. Like fighters on their way out, he doesn't seem to have a passion for fighting anymore nor the stomach to push himself to his fullest in training.
Secondly, due to his public service obligations, he's been inactive in the ring and probably hasn't trained much. It will have been a year since Manny fought when he faces Matthysse in July. If he approaches this upcoming fight with Matthysse in the same broken manner he went about preparing for Jeff Horn, Manny could get KO'd.
Third, he's not young as springtime anymore. A 39-year-old old can certainly fight and win at boxing's highest levels but he must be disciplined and focused. He must eat, breath and crap boxing And Pacquiao certainly isn't doing that.
And lastly, he's parted ways with longtime trainer Freddie Roach, a father figure of sorts.
It's not uncommon for fighters at the end of the road to do this because they trick themselves into thinking that magic bullet, in the form of a new coach with new strategies, will serve as the remedy for what ails them.
Mike Tyson had three trainers for his last five fights.
And let's not forget, it was Roach who warned Manny the latter's senatorial obligations would interfere with his boxing. And it was also Roach who suggested Pacquiao should retire from the sport following the Horn defeat.
Couple the above with his performance against the then little-known Horn and the fact he'll be facing a better opponent than Jeff come July, and it's difficult to see how Manny is the favorite.
Manny Pacquiao: Rough odds for last 15 fights
(Matthysse -213, as of Apr 7)
Jeff Horn -600
Jessie Vargas -900
Timothy Bradley -245
Floyd Mayweather Jr. +160
Chris Algieri -700
Timothy Bradley -280
Brandon Rios -550
Juan Manuel Marquez -1100
Timothy Bradley -450
Juan Manuel Marquez
Shane Mosley -850
Antonio Margarito -450
Joshua Clottey -600
Miguel Cotto -270
Ricky Hatton -225
Manny Pacquiao is a winner in life and in boxing. He's used to winning. As a result, he proably thinks his performance against Horn was a fluke,
His tremendous past successes may have blinded him to the reality of his situation and given him a false sense of security. Even for a fighter with his skills and experience, success on this level requires special dedication - something Pacquiao no longer boasts.
What many who have never boxed don't realize is that on the elite level, a fighter not only has to dedicate the hours in the gym, he must be focused mentally and have the right mindset to train and fight - hard.
... But you can't be focused when you're training in the gym but thinking about drafting, editing, supporting or rejecting a piece of legislation. A professional fighter, especially at the top level, must be mentally prepared.
Sure, Manny can still easily get his body in great shape. But getting in 'boxing shape' on this level is entirely different because it involves physical and mental preparation, dedication, and a certain hunger and desire Manny Pacquiao no longer has.
Senator Pacquiao fights on even though PacMan retired a while ago.