Best Bets For Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse



Mar 6, 2018
Best bets for Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse

Johnny Wilds

Boxing icon Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) makes his return to the ring versus Lucas 'La Maquina' Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) on Saturday night at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This exciting matchup will be streamed exclusively on ESPN+ at 9:00 p.m. ET.

These two aged warriors, albeit past their prime, will fight for Matthysse's WBA World Welterweight title. Who has more left in his tank?

Here's a look at where the money is going from Vegas bookmakers, along with opinions from boxing experts, boxers and trainers, as well as my best bet for the fight.
[h=2]Line movement[/h]
[h=2]Odds for Pacquiao-Matthysse[/h]
Odds via Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, as of July 11.

Opening Odds Current Odds

Jeff Sherman, race and sportsbook manager at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, opened the fight with Pacquiao -220 and Matthysse +180.

"Initial support was on Matthysse, and the price got as low as -190/+160. Since then, it has been steady Pacquiao money support." said Sherman. The Westgate has 57 percent of total tickets written thus far on Pacquiao, and 65 percent of total money wagered on him, too. Sherman will post a total on the fight closer to fight day.

At William Hill US, senior trader Adam Pullen posted the fight with Pacquiao -190 and Matthysse +170.

"We have written tickets 2-1 in favor of Matthysse, but money is 3-1 in favor of Pacquiao," said Pullen. He has adjusted the price to Pacquiao -210 and Matthysse +180 based on this action. Like Sherman, Pullen will post a total on the fight closer to fight day.
[h=2]The panel[/h]

Colin Morrison (boxing sharp): "Two guys on the downward spiral, and while you wouldn't want to be watching matchups like this every weekend, as a one-off, this is rather interesting. Pacquiao, now a part-time boxer with seriously diminished skills and reflexes, is going to the well one more time. Fellow ring veteran Matthysse will be looking to take advantage, as Pacquiao slows down in the second half of the fight. The man from Argentina will be able to land some heavy artillery on the Filipino Congressman from the seventh round on, and Pacquiao's corner will rescue their man in the 11th. Matthysse TKO11 in an entertaining scrap."

Jamel Herring (ranked lightweight boxer): "I'm pushing for Manny. Though he's been inactive for the past year now, I still think he's a better all-around fighter than Lucas. I wasn't too happy with Lucas' last performance, and I can't really say if he's still 'The Machine' we've grown to know over the years."

Abraham Gonzalez (boxing sharp): "Very interesting battle of two great fighters, although past their prime, meeting in a significant title fight. In the beginning rounds, Pacquiao will dictate the pace with his quick hand speed and movement. In the middle to late rounds is where you will see Matthysse land the big shots testing the battle-worn chin of Pacquiao. This will end up being a very exciting fight and will go the distance. Pacquiao by split decision."

Stephen "Breadman" Edwards (boxing trainer): "Pac gets dropped and hurt, but he wins a decision and outboxes Matthysse."

Michelle Joy Phelps (boxing sharp): "Pacquiao has speed and the skill set to outpoint Matthysse. But that's if he doesn't get caught by one of Matthysse's shots. This is going to be a tough fight for both men. Manny doesn't have the power to stop Lucas, but if he can go the distance and avoid the power shots Lucas will be trying to catch him with, I can see Pacquiao winning on points. Otherwise, Matthysse's power will stop him and retire Pacman. It's also going to be very interesting to see how Manny performs without Freddie Roach in his corner."

Rich Marotta (Hall of Fame Sportscaster): "I look for Pacquiao-Matthysse to be a very good, fan-friendly, action-packed fight. I am picking Pacquiao to win by a unanimous decision. I always thought it would take somebody very special to beat Manny, and that proved true in the cases of [Floyd] Mayweather and [Juan Manuel] Marquez. However, that's no longer the case, as Jeff Horn proved a year ago. He does however still possess terrific speed and unusual, if not impossible, angles to figure out. Horn simply mauled him, and I don't think Lucas can or will do that. Matthysse, a few years ago, appeared on his way to being a "special" fighter. However, he too seems to have deteriorated, and despite possessing excellent power, will not land hard enough to KO Manny nor often enough to outpoint him."

John "Iceman" Scully (boxing trainer): "I will go against the grain on this one and against my initial first reaction. Lucas will come away with the win, as he has more left in the tank and is more motivated to win."

Marcos Figueroa (boxing sharp): "This fight is happening five years too late, as both fighters are now long in the tooth. I expect Manny to win a UD."

Evan Young (boxing sharp): "Pacquiao is facing a legitimate KO puncher in Matthysse. It's obvious to me that Pacquiao is past his prime with the long grind of 23 years, 68 bouts and boxing professionally since he was 16 years old. With the wear and tear you'd presume to be on Pacquiao, he is still a tremendous boxer. Matthysse is a true destroyer and has bludgeoning power. Pacquiao brings a speed and footwork advantage into this fight. Matthysse prefers stationary targets, and Pacquiao won't give him that. The southpaw Pacquiao will display deft foot movement while peppering Matthysse from awkward angles. I think Pacquiao still has enough to turn back the dangerous Matthysse. I'll say Pacquiao to win by unanimous decision or possibly a late stoppage. "

Luke Chapman (boxing sharp): "While both guys may be beyond their best, I think this is a good fight. By all reports both have had great camps, and Manny looks to be in spectacular condition. I'm picking Manny to win straight out. He's still got the tools to dismantle The Machine."

Joshua Stabile (boxing sharp): "Pac no longer has Roach in his corner, and he hasn't fought in 12 months since the controversial loss to Horn. Matthysse has been active against very good competition and won the WBA belt versus regional star Tewa Kiram six months ago, but the biggest names on his resume (Viktor Postol, Zab Judah and Danny Garcia) are all losses. I'll take Matthysse's power and output in a mild upset vs. an aging legend who hasn't scored a KO in almost a decade."

Will Smith Jr. (boxing sharp): "Obviously, both Matthysse and Pacquiao are well past their primes. While The Machine has frightening power and a great new trainer in Robert Garcia, Pacquiao is known for his speed and angles (though he now lacks a proven trainer). With that said, even though Roach is out of the mix, I still think Pacquiao's speed will be too much for Matthysse. I've got Pacquiao winning by UD."
[h=2]Tale of the tape[/h]
[h=2]Looking at the numbers[/h]
KO%56 percent84 percent
Reach67 inches69 inches

Pacquiao Matthysse

Pacquiao: The 39-year-old future Hall of Famer was last seen in the ring in July of last year and on the wrong end of a horrible decision against Horn. Many observers, including myself, saw him winning rather comfortably. He is a living legend with wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Marquez, Shane Mosley, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Ricky Hatton, just to name a few. He will be fighting without Hall of Fame trainer Roach for the first time and has employed long-time friend and cornerman Buboy Fernandez to be his trainer. Does Pacman have another fight left in the tank or has father time finally caught up with the legend?

Matthysse: The 35-year-old Argentinian earned his nickname by reeling off 27 straight victories before losing a SD to Judah in November 2010. He will enter the right as the WBA welterweight champion, a title he won last January over Kiram via eighth-round KO. That was his second win in a row since getting stopped by Postol in 2015. He holds wins over John Molina Jr. in 2014 and Ruslan Provodnikov in 2015 in 'Fight of the Year' candidates. He has devastating KO power, as evident by his 84 percent KO average. He may be past his prime, like Pacquiao, but he will be looking to replicate Marquez's unforgettable KO of Pacquiao in 2012 and prove he still is The Machine.
[h=2]Who will win?[/h]
The panel is backing Pacquiao by a 9-3 margin. I agree and will make it 10-3. I was at the last Matthysse fight versus Kiram, and although he got the KO victory, he looked painfully slow and not 'The Machine' that I once knew. I think Pacquiao dominates after a few tense moments.

Best bet: Pacquiao -200 or better



Mar 23, 2018
Pac man will win the guy is a champion. Odds will be higher than -250 soon!



Jun 4, 2016
Not sure I trust Manny to be fighting for more than the dollars anymore.

If he is fully trained up for the fight you'd think he has the skill to win as fave but not worth the chalk IMHO.