Weekend Boxing Recap: Manny Pacquiao Plasters Lucas Matthysse

What a great fight this was.

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Last night (Sat. July 15, 2018) Manny Pacquiao picked up his first stoppage victory inside the boxing ring since 2009.

He defeated Lucas Matthysse via seventh round TKO. The 39-year-old’s last knockout occurred back in November of 2009 when he finished Miguel Cotto in the 12th round.

“Pac-Man” has now won three of his last four fights inside the ring. His last defeat came in July of last year when he dropped a controversial unanimous decision to Jeff Horn in Australia. He lost the WBO welterweight championship as a result.

Pacquiao’s victory over Matthysee last night won him the WBA welterweight crown. Check out some highlights from the bout below:

The undercard results can be found here as well:

  • Moruti Mthalane def. Muhammad Waseem via unanimous decision (114-113, 114-113, 116-110) – won IBF flyweight title
  • Carlos Canizales def. Lu Bin via R12 TKO (2:59) – retained WBA light flyweight title
  • Jhack Tepora def. Edivaldo Ortega via R9 TKO (2:38) – won interim WBA featherweight title

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Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse Back On After Weeks Of Uncertainty

We finally know that the upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse fight will happen.

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We finally know that the upcoming Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse fight will happen.

The boxing legend is slated to challenge Matthysse for the World Boxing Association welterweight title on July 15th, 2018 (July 14th in the United States) at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Some thought that this fight would never happen due to Pacquiao taking some time off.

Matthysse is coming off an eight round TKO of Tewa Kiram at The Forum in Los Angeles, which saw him win the ‘regular’ version of the WBA welterweight title. Following the fight, Matthysse called out Pacquiao for a potential fight.

The career of the boxing legend has been on a roller coaster of a ride since suffering a devastating loss knockout loss to great rival Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.

Thus, he has gone 5-2 in his last seven fights that include dropping decisions to Floyd Mayweather, Jr in May 2015 and Jeff Horn in July of 2017.

This fight had been in jeopardy for the past several weeks over financing issues but that has all changed and it’s officially on according to a report by ESPN.

Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN that Matthysse and his team will fly Tuesday from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the fight.

“The fight’s a go. There were some bumps in the road but everything is now in order and we’re excited. It’s a great opportunity for Lucas,” Gomez said. “This is his dream fight. It’s the fight he’s been talking about for five years now. Anytime you can fight a legend like Manny Pacquiao it’s a win.

“The money is in place. The money was supposed to be in an escrow account in the U.S. and now everything is good. It’s customary practice when you are fighting overseas to have the money in an escrow account, and now the money is there. We’re excited to be working with Manny and his company, MP Promotions, and commend him for putting this fight together and making sure it comes off.”

This whole deal came down to money as the initial payment of $500,000 was made to the Golden Boy/Matthysse camp when the fight was signed to help pay for things. However, this fight was in jeopardy after MP Promotions missed several deadlines over the past two months to fully fund $2 million for the camp. Last week more of the money was wired to the account and now it’s back on.

“I didn’t really pay attention to it, but I saw the headlines,” Matthysse, who is from Argentina, told ESPN through a translator, in reference to the money issues. “I read a little bit about it, but I just kept training with the same desire I always have. I knew the fight would happen so I didn’t really pay attention to what was going on. I feel good and I am happy to be heading out there to Malaysia to defend my title.”

Top Rank CEO Bob Arum went on record by stating that he is working with ESPN to get the fight aired either on ESPN or ESPN+.

“ESPN is up to speed on everything,” Arum said, noting that it is up to the network to decide whether the card would air on ESPN or on the ESPN+ streaming service. “When the contract is signed with Manny and his company, then ESPN will announce what its plans are for the fight.”

It should be noted that there is a Top Rank Boxing event on ESPN card beginning at 7 p.m. ET on July 14 that is slated to be headlined by No. 1 junior welterweight Regis Prograis taking on Juan Jose Velasco in the main event in New Orleans, which could end up serving the undercard fights for Pacquiao vs. Matthysse.

“Our card in New Orleans will be over by 9 p.m. ET and ESPN could go with Manny’s undercard like it would be a normal telecast at that time and make it a night of boxing,” Arum said.

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Source: Mayweather vs. McGregor In UFC ‘Closer To Happening’

In recent weeks, talk of an over-the-top Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout in the UFC octagon has cooled down quite a bit. The rumors were roaring hot at one point after Mayweather posted a video of himself stepping into an MMA cage and teased a “billion dollar” deal with the UFC earlier this year, […]

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In recent weeks, talk of an over-the-top Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout in the UFC octagon has cooled down quite a bit.

The rumors were roaring hot at one point after Mayweather posted a video of himself stepping into an MMA cage and teased a “billion dollar” deal with the UFC earlier this year, yet nothing was made official and talks died down as McGregor was arrested on assault charges for his now-infamous Brooklyn bus attack on April 5 in New York.

It’s lead many to believe that the bout was a joke that was never going to happen in the first place, yet Mayweather’s head of security, Greg La Rosa, recently stoked the fires back up again during a recent appearance on MMA Junkie Radio, claiming that while many are calling ‘bulls***’ on the fight, ‘Money’ isn’t joking when he said that if the boxing legend comes back, it will be to MMA:

“I think he might do it. I think he might come back. Never know. I don’t know who it would be against, because that stuff would be all behind the scenes, a little out of my reach. But I think he might do it.

“A lot of people are calling bullshit on this one, but we’ll just have to see. He’s around camp, he’s talking about it, and he’s not kidding when he talks to Jim Gray there and says if I come back it’ll be for MMA. That’s not a joke that he’s making.”

Pressed for his assessment if it would actually happen, La Rosa then said he believes it’s closer to happening than not:

“Man, if I had to guess, I’d say it’s closer to happening.”

As Dana White loves to say, we’ll see what happens in regards to Mayweather vs. McGregor in the octagon. But based on Mayweather’s recent words to Filipino news outlet ABS-CBN News during a world-traveling trip, he isn’t focused on any type of combat sports return as of now:

“I’m not worried about the octagon or the boxing ring. As of right now, I’m touring around the world, doing different things, embracing my fans, getting love from all around the world,” Mayweather said. “Right now I’m just traveling. I don’t know what the future holds, but as of right now, I’m retired.

“I’m not thinking about fighting right now.”

There’s little doubt that Mayweather vs. McGregor would be the biggest fight of 2018 in terms of mainstream appeal, as their first fight in the boxing ring last year was rated as the second-highest grossing pay-per-view event of all-time.

There are hurdles to surpass, however, and Mayweather doesn’t seem to be too intent on making the bout happen as of right now.

But that could all change rather quickly. Is it a fight you’re excited to pay money for?

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Colby Covington Sounds Off On ‘Coked-Up Leprechaun’ Conor McGregor

UFC welterweight Colby Covington has made nearly every big name in mixed martial arts his target as of late. And now he’s focused on the biggest name out there. Heading into his interim title fight versus Rafael dos Anjos at June 9’s UFC 225 from Chicago, Covington clapped back at the circling suggestions that he […]

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UFC welterweight Colby Covington has made nearly every big name in mixed martial arts his target as of late.

And now he’s focused on the biggest name out there.

Heading into his interim title fight versus Rafael dos Anjos at June 9’s UFC 225 from Chicago, Covington clapped back at the circling suggestions that he was simply copying former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor’s style in an interview with BJ Penn Radio, and to no surprise, he claimed he was here to be his own unique supervillain – not to make friends:

“People, they wanna say I’m mimicking McGregor, I’m mimicking Chael Sonnen. I’m not trying to be anything like them. Does it look like I’m trying to get followers or I’m trying to get fans? I don’t care. I’m not trying to make people happy. I don’t care. You’re gonna be mad, but you will tune in to see me fight ’cause you wanna see me lose. At the end of the day, all these people that wanna say I’m trying to mimic another person, no. I’m unique in my own way. No one’s ever done and went the route I’ve went, full supervillain here.”

Covington then went full-on “Chaos” on McGregor, claiming he used a certain substance. The top-ranked welterweight recently offered to bring McGregor in for his assault charges stemming from his April 5 bus attack on Khabib Nurmagomedov and others in Brooklyn, New York, an over-the-top outburst Covington claims McGregor only did to get back the headlines he was stealing from him:

“He’s a coked-up little Leprechaun. He’s making stupid mistakes, but the thing is, Jason, is that he noticed that King Colby was in the media a lot and in the headlines, and he was losing attention, so he was just trying to steal the headlines back. But at the end of the day, as soon as I put out my tweet that King Colby the bounty hunter was looking for him, he turned himself in. He knows he didn’t wanna get his hands dirty with me.”

Regardless of if he admits he’s copying notorious trash talkers like McGregor and Sonnen, however, he is, just as they built upon the legacies of prominent combats sports smack talkers before them.

It’s a big part of the fight game, and Covington is fully embracing the role of heel to wildly successful results, something that almost assuredly propelled him to title contention much faster than playing a babyface role would have.

Saying he’s stealing McGregor’s headlines is a bit of a stretch, of course, but that’s how he’s gotten this far, so no need to stop now. After so many callouts and so much smack, the pressure’s now on Covington to win the title versus the surging ‘RDA’ in Chicago next month.

If he can back it up, look out.

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MMA Legend Defends Conor McGregor’s Recent Actions

It’s been exactly one month since former UFC champ Conor McGregor stormed UFC 223 media day in Brooklyn, New York and threw a metal dolly through a bus containing current lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. The attack injured both fighters and employees, resulting in three fights being called off UFC 223 and leading to McGregor’s arrest […]

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It’s been exactly one month since former UFC champ Conor McGregor stormed UFC 223 media day in Brooklyn, New York and threw a metal dolly through a bus containing current lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The attack injured both fighters and employees, resulting in three fights being called off UFC 223 and leading to McGregor’s arrest and detainment on assault charges, for which he’ll next appear in court on June 14.

A clear black eye on the sport of mixed martial arts, the incident was met with the predictable mix of disgust, doubt, and bewilderment after MMA’s biggest star essentially went off the rails to assault a man he could have confronted almost anywhere and injuring innocent bystanders in the process. Indeed, UFC president Dana White derided the attack as the ‘most disgusting thing’ to ever happen in the UFC, but he’s since backtracked on that a bit with it being painfully obvious the UFC needs him to fight, and fight soon.

While it’s not a straightforward approval from White, yet another prominent MMA personality gave some much more forceful support of McGregor.

In a recent interview with Submission Radio (via Bloody Elbow) when former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten stuck up for the Irish star by saying we weren’t his shoes and he simply got caught in the moment:

“We are not in Conor McGregor’s shoes. You know? People can shout what they want, they have no clue what goes on,” Rutten said. “I think once people realize that you have 50 million dollars – he gets mail all day long from people with sick babies and sick kids and my grandma and everybody wants him to give money and so on.

“I mean, he doesn’t only have money, he is super famous on top of that. I know the stupid stuff I did when I was 28 – I didn’t do that, okay, but you know, he has a group around him and he was already angry going in because they wanted to strip him of the title and he’s angry and now the partner, his friends, start saying, ‘hey, maybe we should throw something against them’. Like, ‘yeah,’ everybody starts agreeing. Yeah, you get caught up in the whole moment and you start doing it.”

Maybe being filthy rich isn’t the best excuse for attacking innocent fighters and people trying to make their living, even if others are asking McGregor for money on a regular basis after his monstrous purse to box Floyd Mayweather.

That’s exactly what has left McGregor out of the octagon and causing trouble in public, however, so it would seem the key to redemption for him would simply lie in returning to the octagon and finally fighting for the first time since November 2016. He’s accomplished a ton for the UFC and MMA, that much is true, and Rutten cautioned that even despite the backlash he received online, we should focus on what he’s done rather than his recent mistakes:

“That’s why I said when I was with Joe Rogan, I said, guys, we should give him a pass. And people online, they were like, is he crazy? I’m not saying that (you excuse everything),” Rutten explained. “I’m saying, yes, he’s going to have to pay for what he did, he goes to court, he has to do all that. I’m not saying that (he doesn’t do those things). Of course, he has to – and I said that on Joe Rogan as well – but give him a pass as a fan. Don’t kick the guy while he’s down. Don’t throw him under the bus. He did so much good for MMA. He just needs to find his way in this world.”

“I hope they just … give him a pass, don’t spit him out yet. Let him see if he cleans up. I mean, you give Jon Jones a lot of passes. And me too, I love Jon Jones, I want to see him back. He’s such a talent that is gone and I want to see him fight. This could be a guy that could literally go undefeated his entire life. So yeah, I would love to see a guy like that back.”

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Dana White Reacts To Reports Of Nate Diaz’ Return

The mixed martial arts (MMA) world has been abuzz this week with the news that Nate Diaz will reportedly return to action at August’s UFC 227. As usual, however, Dana White is cautioning us to pump the brakes. According to the UFC president via Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, the news of Diaz is no news, because the […]

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The mixed martial arts (MMA) world has been abuzz this week with the news that Nate Diaz will reportedly return to action at August’s UFC 227.

As usual, however, Dana White is cautioning us to pump the brakes.

According to the UFC president via Yahoo’s Kevin Iole, the news of Diaz is no news, because the promotion has been offering him a fight every three to four months as they have been since he faced Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in 2016, and it’s the same denial it’s always been:

So White insists that Diaz isn’t coming back anytime soon and that there’s nothing to see here.

Interesting.

So interesting, in fact, that some would interpret that as an almost certain confirmation that Diaz will indeed be returning to the octagon sometime very soon. If and when he does, it would seem likely he’s matched up with one of a trio of top-ranked lightweights consisting of Kevin Lee, Dustin Poirier, and Eddie Alvarez.

All three of those fighters are elite lightweights who have won recent bouts by stoppage; Diaz hasn’t fought at lightweight since late 2015.

That may have Diaz rating as the underdog in all three match-ups due to his inactivity. To see how he matches up with all three, check out our match-up breakdowns involving Diaz right here.

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