By Miguel Rivera
Veteran trainer Joel Diaz is confident that aggression and strength of Argentina's Lucas Matthysse, the "regular" welterweight champion of the World Boxing Association, will give Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao enough trouble to hand him another defeat on July 14 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
According to Diaz, his fighter is set to arrive in California next week to begin his preparation for the most important fight of his life.
Joel stressed that the fact of having already faced Pacquiao twice, when he was in charge of Timothy Bradley's corner, will allow him to work with much better references.
Diaz accepted that today Pacquiao is not the same young lion that faced Bradley, and also recognized that Lucas is a fighter who has known how to take advantage of his conditions despite his seniority, so all things being equal he believes that the hunger of the Argentine puncher will make the difference.
"Lucas is coming next week, the fight is good because I already know Pacquiao when we were with Bradley, and I know that in Matthysse I have a fighter with a lot of strength in both fists, that we must use a different strategy, let's base ourselves in his strength and his power to make Pacquiao suffer," said Joel in a conversation with ESPN Deportes,
"Age says everything, those of us who know boxing know that Pacquiao and Matthysse are not the youngsters that they were before, that the best already happened for them, but they will give a good show and that is a fact. Both are in the same situation, but I think Lucas is more hungry, he just won the championship and I know he will come very motivated to achieve the greatest win of his career."
For now, two European sparring partners, one of them Batyr Ahmedov, are also waiting for Lucas to help him get in the best form of his career for the clash against Pacquiao.
"Lucas has the championship and that's worth a lot for Pacquiao at the moment, it's going to cost Pacquiao a lot of work because Matthysse has power. If Pacquiao wants to come and do what he did with others, he's going to find a lot of problems," said Diaz.
Pacquiao has been out of the ring since suffering a shocking twelve round decision loss at the hands of Jeff Horn last July in Brisbane, Australia.