This Saturday, July 14th, ESPN - the worldwide leader in Sports, serves up a bevy of Boxing; they’ll be the largest purveyor of Pugilism on the planet, this particular date. Not one, but two fight cards gracing their airwaves, the main course featuring Filipino legend, Manny Pacquiao, squaring off against Lucas Matthysse on ESPN+, the relatively new streaming service (8PM CST). Meanwhile, on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, Regis Prograis will make his fistic homecoming to the city of New Orleans (6PM CST). Pac-Matthysse will be held at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where technically speaking, it will be Sunday, July 15th. Domestically, Prograis will put on for his city from the Lakefront Arena, on the campus of the University of New Orleans.
Five years ago, Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO’s) vs. Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO’s) would’ve been among the more combustible, fan-friendly, “Fight of the Year” possibilities in the game. Both have seen better days, but sometimes shopworn action fighters produce fireworks too. For the last several years, Pacquiao has fought with all the ferocity you’d expect from a Senator, instead of the destructive, dynamic, human tornado he was in his prime. Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from the Lone Legislative of the Sarangani, Senator Pacquiao hasn’t KO’ed a man since 2009. The only prizefighter in history to hold world titles in 8 divisions, Pacquiao’s now more apt to glove touch and take his foot off the proverbial pedal, than go for the kill on wounded prey. Matthysse, himself a former 140-pound titlist, can still bang if nothing else, and isn’t the type of opponent you want to go easy on, however.
Expect Matthysse to bring some of Pacquiao’s old, aggressive ways out him, in route to late stoppage or clear unanimous decision win for the “Pac Man”.
WBC Interim Super Lightweight champion, Regis “Rougarou” Prograis (21-0, 18 KO’s) will risk his laurels against Juan Jose Velasco (20-0, 12 KO’s) in his Bayou coronation. Velasco’s never fought in the United States and Prograis will be bloodthirsty and anxious to make a statement at Velasco’s expense. This has all the makings of an Errol Spence-Carlos OCampo redux, with Prograis stopping Velasco early.