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On Sunday, July 15th in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, future Hall of Famer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will face Argentine knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round welterweight clash. The fight, will be for Matthysse’s WBA Welterweight title. Even as little as one year ago, this would be an afterthought of a fight for many. Yet, with the passage of time, a loss by Pacquiao both in and out the ring, the landscape and outlook has changed. The bout suddenly has the makings of a competitive affair. Here are five interesting reasons why.

1. Freddie Roach’s Absence

For the first time in over 16 years, Freddie Roach will not be in the corner when PacMan steps into the ring. A dispute, whose root causes cannot be confirmed led to the split. Pacquiao will be trained instead by Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez and Raides “Nonoy” Neri. Make no mistake, Roach is a master strategist, who can advise a fighter on styles, strategy and help them make real time adjustments needed to be made during a bout. If Pacquiao faces any difficult spots during the bout, the absence of Roach could loom large.

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