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Joel Diaz: If Matthysse catches Pacquiao he’s going down!

Trainer Joel Diaz gives his thoughts on Manny Pacquiao’s upcoming fight with Lucas Matthysse.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

In this video interview with our colleagues at Fight Hub TV, Joel Diaz, who will be training Lucas Matthysse, talks about the fight and why it’s such a dangerous one for Pacquiao. Check out some excerpts below...

Diaz on how he believes Matthysse matches up with Pacquiao at this stage of his career:

“Now this is a 50/50 fight...stylistically and because of the time being. I mean, look, Pacquiao’s almost 40 years old, Lucas is almost what, 35...I call both of these fighters old in their career...They’re not the explosive, fast, young fighters anymore. So I just think it’s a 50/50 fight for both of em, but I just think right now Lucas Matthysse is more focused because he’s only focused on boxing.

“...If I’m not mistaken Manny Pacquiao has other distractions in his career. And the difference in age — Manny Pacquiao has a lot more fights, you know, he has over 60 fights and every fight takes a toll on your body. Manny Pacquiao, if he can stay away from Lucas Matthysse’s power he’ll be fine. But if he runs into his power he’s gonna get hurt.”

On having a lot of insight on Pacquiao as he’s prepared against him several times in recent years:

“Yeah, I know a lot because I put a few plans together to fight Manny Pacquiao. Great, great fighter. Great, great person.

“When I had Bradley — I don’t take nothing from Bradley, Bradley was young, strong fast — Bradley never had that power punch to knock you out. But he always had the energy, the conditioning to withstand and go through anything against a Manny Pacquiao. But now, walking in the ring with a Manny Pacquiao with a Lucas Matthysse that — he don’t have to do much to hurt you — I mean that’s a different story.

“In one exchange of punches, if they clash and they exchange punches and Lucas Matthysse lands a left hook or a straight right, I think he’ll hurt Manny.”

On if he thinks this fight goes the distance:

“No.’s a 50/50 fight but I can tell you this: if Lucas Matthysse doesn’t have a strong mentality walking in the fight even though he’s in great condition and he has all the tools to do it, Manny can really frustrate him because of his speed and beat him. But if Lucas Matthysse keeps that straight mind, that mentality that he has the potential to do it, and land that one punch — he can hurt him.”

On how he thinks Pacquiao will be affected by splitting with Freddie Roach:

“You can see it in both ways. I really don’t like to get into that particular subject because I really don’t know what’s going on. Everybody has their issues in camp. I don’t know what Manny and Freddie got going on but I don’t look at none of that stuff, I just focus on Lucas, the plan of attack, the training, and I’m pretty sure it’s not [gonna make] that big of a difference because Buboy [Fernandez] has always been there with him.

“And what happens is Buboy will carry a lot of the things that will benefit Manny that he learned from Freddie. So it’s like you have a substitute next to you and when you’re no longer there that substitute will always remember what benefits and what works for Manny. And I just think Buboy has a lot of data, a lot of experience and knowledge that he picked up from Freddie Roach that will eventually come in play that night.”

On who he thinks wins:

“I think Lucas because of his power. In one exchange...I can tell you this, if Lucas catches Manny, Manny’s going down. I’m telling you, I go home with aches on my elbows and my shoulders because Lucas hits really hard and he’s hitting harder because before he would force his punch and now he’s loose now. He’s loosening up a little more, using his body weight. Putting his body weight and his power together, it’s a combination of danger...[Pacquiao] could get hurt.”

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