Tonight at 9 pm ET on ESPN+, Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring as the living legend takes on Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur for Matthysse’s WBA “world” welterweight title.
Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KO) is, of course, an eight-division champion and a global icon in sports, but he’s 39 now and coming off of a controversial loss last year to Jeff Horn. He’s been out of the ring for just over one year, he’s without trainer Freddie Roach now, and he and his team have had the pressure of putting this fight together, too, which didn’t always go smoothly, with rumor that it could fall apart right up until this past week due to some of those difficulties.
But the 39-year-old Pacquiao is the favorite against Matthysse (39-4, 36 KO), a hard-punching 35-year-old who has largely come up short, with and without controversy, against his tougher opponents, including southpaws Devon Alexander and Zab Judah, though those fights were many years ago now.
It’s an interesting bout filled with potential stories, and even if both men are past their primes, could be a fun one, too.
In the co-feature, 25-year-old Filipino Jhack Tepora (21-0, 16 KO) takes on Edivaldo Ortega (26-1-1, 12 KO) for the interim WBA “world” featherweight title.
- MANNY PACQUIAO def. LUCAS MATTHYSSE by TKO (2:43 of Round 7)
- JHACK TEPORA def. EDIVALDO ORTEGA by TKO (2:38 of Round 9)
- CARLOS CANIZALES def. LU BIN by TKO (2:59 of Round 12)
ROUND BY ROUND
MANNY PACQUIAO vs LUCAS MATTHYSSE
Round 1: Pacquiao starts the fight already at center ring. Pac bobbing and weaving with his head and tries a quick one-two that just misses. Pac gets Matthysse to the ropes and gets in a quick combination this time, though. Matthysse trying to measure with his jab but looks a little concerned early by Pac’s hand speed. Pac tags Matthysse to the body with a left hand. Matthysse tries a right hand but Pac is able to catch it on his guard. Matthysse hasn’t asserted himself at all in this opening round. Pacquiao 10-9.
Round 2: Matthysse fighting a very patient fight, when he probably needs to be pressing the action. Pac has too much speed and skills for Matthysse to outbox. Now Matthysse lets go three punches by Pac is able to block them. Hard right hand counter lands for Pac. Pac counters Matthysse’s jab once again with ease. Matthysse can’t fight this kind of fight with any hope of winning. He has to mix it up and impose his punching power. Pac walking Matthysse around the ring, who is still mostly fighting behind a tight guard. Pacquiao 10-9, 20-18.
Round 3: Matthysse comes out a little more aggressive now, throwing a couple of hooks and right hands. Matthysse tries a bid counter hook but gets blitzed by Pac who sends him to the ground with a left uppercut! Matthysse beats the count and Pac is coming forward, looking to inflict more damage on Matthysse. Pac trying to jab his way in on Matthysse, looking for a follow up power punch he can land. Pac jumps forward and tags Matthysse again with a coupe shots. Pac hits the body and head of Matthysse. Pacquiao 10-8.
Round 4: Matthysse comes forward with a right hand that falls short. Pac comes with a one-one-two that Matthysse is able to partially block. Pac sweeps a left hand with Matthysse covering up with a tight guard. Lead left hand lands for Pac. Now Matthysse partially lands a straight right hand on Pacquiao. Pac responds with a lead left hand of his own as he leans to his right. Two hooks land for Pacquiao. Straight Left! Matthysse needs to make a change quickly. Pacquiao 10-9, 40-35.
Round 5: Hard left hand lands for Pacquiao, moving Matthysse backwards. Matthysse is fighting a Joshua Clottey kind of fight against Pacquiao, mostly covering up and looking to land one big shot instead of making his opportunities. Matthysse can’t deal with Pacquiao’s hand speed anywhere in the ring. Pac throws three straight lead left hands as Matthysse keeps his guard up. Matthysse now lands a shot but Pacquiao counters the one afterwards. Now a reaching right hand from Pacquiao clips Matthysse on the head and makes Matthysse take a knee! Pacquiao 10-8.
Round 6: Referee calls a timeout after an accidental low blow from Matthysse. Pac resumes with all out action as he presses Matthysse and lets his hands fly. Pac touching Matthysse who is hiding behind his gloves. Pac touching Matthysse to the head again and I don’t like how Matthysse is reacting to even grazing shots. Pacquiao puts his hands up and lets Matthysse throw at him and a hard left hand lands for Matthysse. Pac responds immediately with his own left. Pac is basically toying with Matthysse in there. Pacquiao 10-9, 60-52.
Round 7: Matthysse has to know he’s down big on points now and is looking to get into a better rhythm. Pac lands a one-two but Matthysse tries to respond with some jabs. Pac slips in an uppercut between Matthysse’s guard and backs him up some more. Matthysse lands a right hand to the body but that just pisses Pacquiao off, who hit Matthysse with another uppercut that puts Matthysse down again! It’s over! Pacquiao TKO-7.
JHACK TEPORA vs EDIVALDO ORTEGA
Round 1: Ortega comes out probing with a jab. Tepora tries two big hooks that just miss Ortiz’s head. Ortega lands a right hand as Tepora goes on an aggressive attack following a body shot he believes hurt Ortega. Tepora lands a hard right uppercut to the body. Tepora tries a shot to the body that lands on Ortega. Ortega rights a body shot and a looping hook. I think Tepora edges the round. Tepora 10-9.
Round 2: Ortega comes out and attacks with a couple of hooks that are blocked by Tepora. Ortega lands a laf left hand and then tries a flurry with Tepora along the ropes — not much lands well. Clubbing left hand lands for Tepora. Now Tepora lands a straight left to the body. Both fighters trade shots on the ropes with Ortega perhaps getting the better of it. Better round for Ortega, I think. Ortega 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Tepora foes to the body with a sweeping shot. Tepora seems to have gotten into a little pattern of follow Ortega instead of cutting him off. The pace of this fight has slowed as Tepora has cut back on his aggression and Ortega wants to make this a boxing match. Ortega jabs for good measure. Lead left hand lands for Ortega. Tepora is throwing but they are some wild shots. Ortega 10-9.
Round 4: Tepora comes out with a little more purpose in this round and touches Ortega a couple of times. Both fighters miss on several punches as they look to exchange. Tepora misses on a big right hand body shot. Tepora jabs and clips Ortega with a check hook. Hard left to the body lands for Ortega. Not a pretty round but I think Tepora slightly edged it. Tepora 10-9, 38-38.
Round 5: Tepora tries a couple of measuring jabs before Ortega gets him tied up. Ortega comes forward with two punches but Tepora is able to step out of range. Ortega goes for a jab to the body and the pace of this fight is nothing like the opening round, it’s really slowed. Counter uppercut lands for Tepora. Ortega walks forward with a few more hooks that miss. Jab lands for Tepora. Ortega throws several shots with Tepora along the ropes. I think Ortega is forcing the fight more. Ortega 10-9.
Round 6: Tepora lands two jabs to start the round. Tepora lands a counter hook as Ortega charges in. Hard uppercut lands for Tepora. Tepora tries an overhand left hand that gets partially blocked. Tepora whiffs on two big hooks. I don’t think this is a fan-friendly kind of fight, personally. Both fighters exchaning to end the round but neither land much clean. Tepora 10-9, 57-57.
Round 7: Both fighters jockey for position at center ring. Ortega tries to throws several punches and then leans on Tepora’s neck. Two jabs land for Ortega. Now both fighters try to trade jabs but neither can land well. This is a very tactical fight, but one where clean punching is pretty sparse. Hard left to the body lands for Tepora and I think that might be just enough to win this round where not much else happened. Tepora 10-9.
Round 8: Tepora comes out leading with a jab. Ortega lands a solid left hand with Tepora along the ropes. Three jabs come from Tepora, keeping Ortega at arm’s length. Fight announcers have spent the last couple of rounds not even talking about this fight, instead talking about Manny Pacquiao, indicative on how slow this fight has been. Ortega lands a solid jab that snaps Tepora’s head. Another jabs lands for Ortega, who continues to walk forward and look for power shots. Ortega 10-9, 76-76.
Round 9: Tepora lands a jab followed by a left hand. Ortega gets in a shot back as the fighters trade. Tepora content to let Ortega come forward and make counter opportunities for him, but that allows Ortega to dictate the pace. Referee calls a timeout to cut loose tape on Tepora’s glove. Tepora lands a good left hand in the middle of an Ortega attack. Ortega tries to work Tepora but catches a big right uppercut from Tepora that puts him down! Tepora tries to follow up and do damage to Ortega but Ortega is able to tie up. Hard shots from Tepora shake up Ortega again! Tepora keeps the attack up and the referee steps in as he believes Ortega can’t defend himself. Tepora TKO-9.
LU BIN vs CARLOS CANIZALES
Round 1: Bin comes out feinting with his jab before landing it. Bid follows up with a lead straight left hand from his southpaw stance. Both fighters get their legs tangled up and nearly fall over. Canizales tries to attack with a right hand but it’s partially blocked. Canizales charges forward again with several right hands but can’t ladn them clean. Left hook lands for Bin but Canizales gets in a left hook of his own. Two good body shots land for Bin. Bin comes forward with three punches but they’re all straight and Canizales is able to move his head off center. Canizales walks into a left hand counter. I slightly favor Bin in the opening round. Bin 10-9.
Round 2: Bin lands a straight left hand as Canizales attackes the body with shots to both sides. Several more hard body shots come from Canizales and find the mark. Canizales is getting in some real hard shots here and Bin responds by whipping a right hand to the body himself. Sneaky left hand lead lands for Bin. Canizales lands a body shot before trying for a punch upstairs that misses. Now Canizales gets in a straight right to the body. Bin lands a check right hook, followed by a straight left. Canizales tries two more body shots. This is a good fight so far. I slightly favor Canizales in this round with his body work. Canizales 10-9, 19-19.
Round 3: Some sloppy action to start this round, with both fighters throwing but not landing clean. Bin tries a left counter to the body with good success. Canizales steps forward and lands a left hook upstairs, then a chopping right. Canizales gets warned for punching behind the head but those looked like clean shots to me. Canizales leads with a left gook to the body, followed by a right hand to the body. Canizales is clubbing Bin on the inside, even if not landing perfectly. Hard left to the body lands for Bin. Both fighters trade flurries towards the end of the round. I still favor Canizales’ aggression. Canizales 10-9.
Round 4: Bin splits Canizales’ guard with a left hand. Bin comes forward and lands four punches. Bin seems to want to change the tone of this fight by going on the attack first. Canizales throws three big hooks as big just covers up. Canizales throwing to the body and head and is getting some respect in there. Two hard shots land for Canizales that stops Bin in his tracks! Canizales lands another left hook upstairs. Canizales 10-9, 39-37.
Round 5: Bin lands a lead left hand to start the round. Bin is trying to pick up the pace a little to keep up with Canizales’ workrate. Bin tries a one-two that gets blocked. Canizales tries to work his hooks again to Bin’s body. Canizales taunts Bin to come on as he wants a tear-up where he’s having more success than Bin. Two punches from Canizales sting Bin. I think Canizales is winning these round by outworking Bin. Canizales 10-9.
Round 6: Canizales comes out stalking Bin, looking to push him back and land more body shots. Canizales attacks and gets Bin on the ropes but only for a moment. Hard right hand to the body lands for Canizales. Bin is trying to be more evasive now but he’s not moving his hands as much. Canizales throwing hooks, straights, anything he thinks he can touch Bin with. Hard uppercut to the body lands for Canizales. Bin can’t keep Canizales off of him and is having difficulty dealing with constant pressure. Two left hooks land for Canizales. Bin is getting that work right now! Canizales 10-9, 59-55.
Round 7: Bin starts with a left hand to the body. Canizales pumps a jab, but that’s been pretty rare tonight. Canizales lands an uppercut to the body followed by a hook to the head which is partially blocked. Two more hard shots land for Canizales! Two more body shots come from Canizales. Bin is having trouble coping but he hasn’t mentally folded yet. Bin continues to get outworked in this fight. Bin lands a couple of shots to end the round but I don’t think it’s enough. Canizales 10-9.
Round 8: Bin uses some head movement to try to get into countering position. Canizales throws two shots that are blocked. Bin goes on an assault now and lands a few shots on Canizales as he’s backing up. Bin will need a lot more of that. Bin tries three more shots but they’re partially blocked. Bin letting his hands go more now than in previous rounds but Canizales goes on a return attack and both fighters are letting their hands fly! Canizales has turned the tables and is presuring Bin now, tagging him to the body once again. I liked Bin’s early work in this round. Bin 10-9, 74-78.
Round 9: Bin tries a flurry but it’s mostly blocked by Canizales. Right hand lead lands for Canizales, snapping Bin’s head back. Canizales might be starting to wear on Bin as he’s been doing some damage. Left hook and a right hand lands for Canizales. Another right hand lands for Canizales that knocks Bin back. Canizales is working Bin. Canizales 10-9.
Round 10: Bin tries to go downstairs with a left hand but misses. Bin tries three check hooks but can’t find the target. Canizales counters with a body shot but Bin comes back with one upstairs. Left hook lands for Canizales. Bin touches the body and skates away but then gets tagged by a right hand. Canizales touches the body and head again with 10 seconds left in the round. Canizales 10-9, 98-92.
Round 11: Canizales slips as he throws a jab to the body. Bin tries three punches but falls just short. Bin appears to have a small cut over his right eye now which is trickling down his face. Bin tries to club Canizales with several chopping shots. Left hook lands for Canizales, followed by a solid right hand! Left hook, right hand scores a knockdown for Canizales! Bin didn’t hit the deck but he wobbled badly and used the ropes to hold him up. Canizales 10-8.
Round 12: Both fighters hug to start the round. Canizales tries a couple of lead left hooks that Bin is able to catch on his glove. Bin seems to shake up Canizales for a second with a left hand. Canizales gets his composure and comes back on the attack. Hard right hand lands for Canizales! Three jabs snap Bin’s head back. RIght hand lands for Canizales! Bin is taking a lot of clean shots now. Hard uppercut lands for Canizales. Left hook lands for Canizales now. Canizales is going for the kill and strafes Bin and drops him! Bin beats the count but the referee doesn’t like how he looks and waves it off. Canizales TKO-12.