He may be approaching 40 years old with his best days behind him. He may have lost half of his last four contests and critics may even say it’s a fight the sport doesn’t need, but Manny Pacquiao will return to the ring for his 69th professional contest on July 15th.
The Filipino puncher is scheduled to face 35-year-old Argentine Lucas Matthysse over 12 rounds at the Axiata Arena, Kuala Lumpur for the WBA world welterweight title. Will this be the final chapter of what has been a gripping tale? If so, bookmakers expect Pac to bow out with a memorable win, with the latest boxing betting pricing him as hot favourite and bet365 offering no more than 1/2.
That’s the general feeling at present but is there any value in the cramped odds of the jolly or should backers take a punt at the bigger price about an underdog with bite?
Manny Pacquiao made his professional bow way back in 1995 with a four-round points win. Since then, the 5ft 5inch southpaw has gone on to establish himself as a modern day great of the game with his CV reading like a who’s who of boxing. Flicking through his record, you’ll find household names such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and, of course, Floyd Mayweather.
Pac doesn’t boast the same pristine record as the man calling himself The Best Ever – his stats currently standing at 59-7-2 – but he’s every bit as exciting. He certainly was in his prime but, since losing on points to Floyd three years ago, Manny has fought only three times, beating Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Australian Jeff Horn.
Will we see a return to winning ways from the fighter once rated at the top of every respected P4P list? Fans will hope so but there’s not a lot for supporters to get excited about in the fight winner betting. If you do rate his chances, it’s worth knowing each of Pacquiao’s last seven bouts have travelled the distance. With that in mind, a bet on this one to hear the final bell at 5/1 is deserving of a second look.
Opponent Lucas Matthysse is certainly no mere opponent and the fighting pride of Trelew has won 39 of his 44 previous outings with 36 of those wins coming by way of KO/TKO. A staggering 82% knockout average will certainly give Team Pac something to think about in the build-up and that was obviously a factor with traders when putting together their prices.
La Maquina was last seen halting previously undefeated Thai fighter Tewa Kiram in eight rounds for the vacant WBA world title in a bad-tempered contest. That positive result followed the fifth round TKO of Emmanuel Taylor last year, meaning Lucas has won five of his last six, the spare being a 10th round defeat vs highly-rated Viktor Postol. Matthysse to win is as big as 7/4.