Boxing Weekend Preview: Pacquiao returns, Teofimo Lopez on ESPN
The man who carried most of my young adulthood interest in boxing, Manny Pacquiao will return this weekend on ESPN+ as part of the main event feature against Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia. Pacquiao is a huge question mark at the moment as he left his longtime coach Freddie Roach to bring on longtime friend Buboy Fernandez as his head coach and Nonito Donaire Sr. as the second assist.
On top of that, Pacquiao’s last performance was anything, but stellar as he lost a fight to Jeff Horn, potentially one of the worst world champions in the last ten years. Pacquiao is past his prime, but just how far gone is the question that lingers heading into this fight as Pacquiao is a no doubt first ballot hall-of-famer.
On the other hand, Lucas Matthysse has looked extremely limited ever since losing to Danny Garcia on the Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez undercard. Matthysse, who looked to be back a year ago, when he stopped Emmanuel Taylor followed that up with a lousy performance against Tewa Kiram, a fighter whom U.S. fans will more than likely never see again on U.S. airwaves. Kiram outboxed Matthysse until a late-round knockout saved Matthysse, point being, neither looked impressive in their last fight.
This bout which will be on the ESPN streaming service Saturday night looks to be a loser leaves town match for two aging veterans of the sport looking at obtaining a bit more cash.
Super lightweight Regis Prograis is one of the futures of boxing as a whole and will be coming home to New Orleans this weekend to face lesser-known undefeated fighter, Juan Velasco. Prograis is popular because of his swarming power, awkwardness in being a southpaw as well as his brash personality. Though I don’t expect to see it in this bout, I would like to see Prograis get some rounds in as he has been steamrolling opposition up until this point and will need rounds at the next level.
Lightweight Teofimo Lopez is nothing short of a superstar in the making. A vibrant trash talker who is unapologetic in his takes has the skills as well to match his demeanor in the ring. Lopez is facing the man Felix Verdejo made his pro debut against on HBO, William Silva, is looking to make a statement not unlike his last bout with FortNite dance as he plans on having a big fight in the near future.
These bouts will be televised on ESPN
Erick De Leon
Talented southpaw Erick De Leon who hits like a mule and has the physique of Mr.Olympia competitor will return action after his draw in the raining with Andy Vences. De Leon is one of the hardest working super featherweights and against the right type of opponents makes for terrific fights. If Oscar Valdez were to move up to super featherweight a battle between him and De Leon would be a sure-fire crowd pleaser.
Joet Gonzalez, Estrada and Cornejo
Featherweight Joet Gonzalez is a cerebral fighter, one of which seems to think about every action in the ring that he makes. Gonzalez, who did not dismiss his opponents’ skill set at the media workout in Los Angeles on Wednesday views this bout as one of his toughest. Gonzalez is headlining the ESPN Friday night card and looking to show separation between himself and his opposition.
Women’s flyweight Seniesa Estrada will be in action as her style is reminiscent of Roy Jones Jr. and also happens to be Roy Jones Jr.’s favorite fighter. Also in action Maricela Cornejo, the women’s middleweight who is looking to make a surge at the ranking in the sanctioning body.