Veteran trainer Ronnie Shields expects Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) to unseat World Boxing Association (WBA) "regular" welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 34 KOs) in their upcoming fight.
The two boxers are scheduled to fight on July 14 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in a bout set to be carried by ESPN as a pay-per-view bout.
Pacquiao, who is almost 40 years old, is coming back from a year layoff - which saw him lose a twelve round unanimous decision to Jeff Horn in a very unexpected upset.
While Shields felt Pacquiao was lacking in his last bout, he also felt Matthysse had a lot of trouble with Tewa Kiram in January.
Matthysse had his struggles in the contest and ended up stopping Kiram in the eight round - although several replays did not show the boxer getting hit too flush, which created some opinions that he was looking for a way out of the fight.
Because of that, Shields is very much backing Pacquiao to win.
"I like the fight, I think Manny Pacquiao has a lot to prove to himself as to whether he should continue to fight or not. Matthysse did not look to good to me in his last fight, he was looking like he was having a lot of problems and because of that, a lot of people are gonna pick Manny Pacquiao to win, although Pacquiao didn’t look so good in his last fight either," Shields told On The Ropes Boxing Radio.
"I think because of the names and only because of the names this is a very interesting fight. It’s for an interim world title, which doesn’t really mean a whole lot. But to people in Malaysia it means a whole lot, that they are fighting for the interim world championship. I really like Pacquiao in the fight because I just think he’s smarter and the guy is always in shape. I think because Matthysse had so many problems with the last guy he fought you have to favor Manny Pacquiao."