Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) vs. Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs)
When: Saturday, July 15, 2018
Where: Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Weight Class: WBA Welterweight Title
by Scott of Predictem.com
Over/Under: Over 9.5 Rounds (-200), Under 9.5 Rounds (+160)
The total for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse fight is an intriguing bet. Solid cases can be made on both sides of the proposition. With this wager, we want to determine how long fight will last. Who wins is less of a concern, though both fighters’ routes to victory need to be factored in when deciding how long a fight will last. Let’s take a look at the Pacquiao-Matthysse WBA Welterweight Title fight and see what we can come up with as far as the over/under.
As far as the regular odds on simply who will win, Pacquiao is a relatively-minor -175 favorite. Some of this would naturally tie into who you think will win the fight. From a basic standpoint, a Pacquiao supporter would favor a longer fight, while a potential Matthysse backer would side with the “under.” There can be some variations within that framework, but who you think will win can be a guide in making this bet. Some might not even have much of an opinion of who will win, but feel they have a read on what kind of fight this will be. Those viewpoints hold water, as well.
It might surprise some to realize Pacquiao last scored a stoppage nearly 9 years ago, when he TKO’d Miguel Cotto in the final round-a fight that still would have gone “over.” In his last 13 fights, he has failed to register a stoppage. A lot figures into that-tough competition, age, rises in weight, and an ebbing killer-instinct that comes with having been a multi-millionaire for quite some time. He’s not regarded as a light puncher, despite the lack of recent KO power. He does have some highlight-reel knockouts, but he’s not what he used to be and has been content to rely on his speed and experience to navigate his way to points wins as of late.
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In contrast, Matthysse relies on power to get to the winner’s circle. Almost every big win he scored has been by KO. It’s not always quick, as he has shown he can carry power into the middle and later rounds. But he can also end fights suddenly and has a handful of quickie KOs against good opposition. In his biggest fights, the ones he lost, his power was unable to surface-an important consideration for this fight.
How well each man can take it is important to consider. From that standpoint, an underdog position on the “under” could certainly be substantiated. Let’s also say that despite both fighters appearing vulnerable at this point in their careers neither has a track record to suggest they are not durable. Matthysse has been stopped once in 44 bouts, while Pacquiao has suffered one KO defeat since 1999. By the same token, both are older now. Matthysse has shown the capacity to quit, though his punch-resistance has always been otherwise solid. Matthysse can punch with the best of them and a threadbare Pacquiao would seem to be susceptible. Just the fact that the living legend is such a narrow favorite in this fight attests to the credence of Matthysse’s case-a winning formula that depends heavily on power.
Both men have shown they can go the distance, even when things aren’t going their way. Matthysse showed some gumption lasting the distance with Danny Garcia, as well as gutting out long winning efforts with John Molina and Ruslan Provodnikov. And with Pacquiao’s recent career being a decision-fest, he is also cut out for the distance. Pacquiao, however, has shown clear signs of erosion and hasn’t been taking on fighters with this kind of power, where some of his limitations could come more into light.
A lot of this comes down to a pair of key questions-how far exactly from his peak is Pacquiao and has Matthysse’s comeback made him look better than he really is? Pacquiao has held up well during his late-career. But even against Horn, one could sense the wheels coming off. And against a better finisher or a harder-hitter, it was easy to see where that could be a problem. He’s not even 40, but in terms of ring mileage, his odometer has turned over and we’ve learned that fighters like that are usually shown the exit in brutal fashion. But where is Matthysse in the big picture? Those wins he returned with are nice, but not as nice as they might appear on paper. While still unquestionably a dangerous puncher, there is an increased raggedness to him, something that a still-sharp Pacquiao could further illustrate in July.
I’m of the thinking that Matthysse is prime to be plucked. Pacquiao hasn’t won by knockout since 2009, but Matthysse doesn’t strike me as being at a point in his career where he’s going to be willing to go through hell to win. And picturing him winning a decision isn’t easy to do, so if I were wrong, that would still favor the “under.” Sure, it isn’t terribly hard to picture these aging battlers going tit-for-tat over a 12-round distance. But I picture more of a firefight where things could open up a bit and make the “under” an appealing choice at the right price.
My Prediction to Win the Fight:
I’m betting on “under” 9.5 rounds at +160 betting odds. Matthysse’s only path to victory against an over-the-hill Pacquiao is by KO. In pursuit of that KO, an also past-his-prime Matthysse could also expose himself to some damage. Their respective styles seem conducive for a brawl ensuing, enhancing the chances for a stoppage some time inside the 11th round at the underdog price. Find the most prop bets for this fight at 5Dimes!