Over a year ago, Philippine boxer and Senator Manny Pacquiao clashed with Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane, in the second fight of Manny’s “comeback” following his brief “retirement” after beating Timothy Bradley in 2016 to campaign and win a seat in the Upper House. The battle ended in a unanimous-decision defeat for Pacquiao and the loss of his WBO Welterweight belt. Following a brief rest, Pacquiao now guns for the WBA (Regular) Welterweight title held by Lucas Matthysse of Argentina. Matthysse vowed to be the one to permanently retire Pacquiao from boxing and the two met Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, where Manny rallied to win with a long-awaited TKO victory.
CNN Philippines reports that Manny Pacquiao proved that even at 39 years old, within the period of physical decline for most professional boxers, he still has what it takes to not only beat an opponent, but to do so in the most spectacular fashion within the sport, by way of a knockout. Thus Pacquiao proved his time-tested mettle against Argentinian Lucas Matthysse, whose corner once offhandedly commented that he might put the Filipino Pride in a hospital following the match. As it turned out, Matthyssed was the one knocked out.
Boxing analysts remarked that the one-time 8-division world champion Pacquiao once again showed the fight-winning vintage form he showed in his younger days: killer left hand, punches coming in from all possible directions. By round 3 the younger aged-35 Matthysse was visibly overwhelmed by the storm of punches from Manny, ultimately being sent down to the canvas via knockdown with 2:34 left in the round clock. By the time the Argentinian went down again in the fifth round, the live audience at Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena, and television viewers around the world, realized that Pacquiao was angling for a KO.
The moment of truth came in Round 7 with a left-right combo from Manny that sent Matthysse to the floor for a third time. Longtime Pacquiao fight referee Kenny Bayless noted the Argentinian boxer looking at his corner, then spitting out his mouthpiece, which he took as cue for declaring victory to the Filipino by Technical Knockout. That last time Manny was able to do this was during the November 2009 match with Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto. The fight before this, Pacquiao-Hatton in May 2009, was the last time Manny literally put an opponent to sleep with a full knockout.
As it stands, Pacquiao’s current fight record is now at 60 wins, 7 losses and 2 draws compared to Matthysse’s updated 39 wins and 6 losses in 44 fights total. Manny has already received several congratulations from fellow Philippine celebrities and politicians, including President Rodrigo Duterte, who was present at the arena and issue a statement lauding the fighting Senator for once again bringing pride and unity to the nation.
Image courtesy of Boxing News Online