Senator Manny Pacquiao is once again a world champion after putting a beating on Lucas Matthysse tonight in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia. Pacquiao’s hand speed ruled the day and dominated Matthysse from the opening bell, touching him at with with shots from all angles until he crumbled him in Round 7. And from the beginning it resembled a cat playing with a ball of yarn.
Matthysse posed absolutely no threat as he started the fight with a game plan which seemed to revolve around trying to outbox Pacquiao rather than outpunch him. Whatever his plan was, it wasn’t working, and by the third round Matthysse was on the ground for the first time on a left uppercut from Pacquiao.
In the fifth round Matthysse would take what appeared to be a relatively grazing shot from a Pacquiao right hand, causing Matthysse to take a knee which counted as another knockdown. At that point I was seriously concerned with how Matthysse was reacting to punches and it seemed clear the fight was all but over. Finally in the seventh round Pacquiao would ambush Matthysse yet again with a left uppercut which crumbled Matthysse. Matthysse would spit out his mouthpiece as he kneeled on the mat and that was all the referee had to see before waving off the fight.
Pacquiao would score his first knockout since Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Vintage performance from Pac-Man pic.twitter.com/5dXBSlQ2h4— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 15, 2018
With the win Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) takes the WBA welterweight title and obviously has some other big potential fights out there for him. When asked about who he wanted to fight next, Pacquiao didn’t really give an answer.
In the end it’s hard to say whether Pacquiao really showed a resurgence tonight or whether or not Matthysse was just the perfect opponent to make him look good. Pac’s hand speed is still intact, but it’s clear his foot movement is nowhere close to what it used to be, and that will probably be taken into account when selecting his next opponent.
On the undercard fellow Filipino Jhack Tepora was able to score a 9th round stoppage of Edivaldo Ortega for the WBA’s interim world featherweight title. This fight wasn’t much to look at, with a lot of sloppy and intermittent action, but Tepora closed the show once he got the opportunity.
FInally, in the opener, highly-touted Chinese prospect Lu Bin took a beating against Carlos Canizales. Bin had been hoping to make history by beating Vasyl Lomachenko’s record, winning a world title in his second professional fight, but Canizales was simply too much for him, attacking the body early and often until he wore Bin down over the long haul. In the final round Canizales tagged Bin along the ropes and dropped him. Bin was in such bad shape that the referee waved the fight off with only 1 second remaining. Bin would be rushed to the hospital immediately following the fight.