By Frank Warren, courtesy of The Daily Star
MANNY PACQUIAO is drinking in the last-chance saloon when he takes on Lucas Matthysse on Sunday morning.
At 39, the Filipino superstar cannot suffer another defeat or it is definitely the end for him among the best at welterweight.
Pacquiao has had a great career, beating many other legends along the way.
To become an eight-weight world champion is an astonishing feat but now the speed and power that took him on that journey is on the wane.
We all saw that when he had to go to the trenches against Australian puncher Jeff Horn last year as he suffered the seventh defeat in his 68-fight career.
But now against another faded champion, Pacquiao can catapult himself back into contention if he lands the WBA ‘regular’ belt in Kuala Lumpur.
It will be a fight that will catch fire because both men are not the forces they once were.
Aggressive Argentine Matthysse is now 35. Both men are slower than they were so more shots should land, although not quite with the same pop of old.
They certainly won’t need to go looking for each other inside the ring which should make it a fight not to miss.
Whether Pacquiao should be still fighting at this stage is another matter for debate.
But if he wins there will still be plenty wanting to face him next which could give him at least one more huge fight.
This week we announced Tyson Fury’s next opponent will be Francesco Pianeta, a two-time world title challenger on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s big fight at Windsor Park next month.
Fury will face a much sterner test, in 6ft 5in Pianeta than last time out against Sefer Seferi and there won’t be any monkey business in the ring from him this time.
We have sold 20,000 tickets for Frampton’s dream night at the home of Northern Ireland football so it should be a special occasion.
* Watch Pacquiao v Matthysse live on BoxNation.