Even if it was for one night, Manny Pacquiao turned back the clock and showcased the same speed and ability that has made him an all-time great.
In a rare major boxing event in Malaysia, Pacquiao dropped Lucas Matthysse three times, stopping him at the end of the seventh round to capture the WBA “regular” welterweight title, adding another belt to his already legendary collection.
Pacquiao dominated from the very start as Matthysse was a sitting duck for Pacquiao’s jabs. But it was the left uppercut from Pacquiao that was Matthysse’s undoing.
The third round started with Pacquiao landing a right jab followed by the left uppercut to Matthysse, knocking him down. Afterwards, Matthysse found little success trying to defend against Pacquiao’s speed.
Pacquiao landed another shot upstairs late in the fifth round that forced Matthysse to take a knee. Finally, another left uppercut by Pacquiao in the seventh round ended Matthysse’s night after referee Kenny Bayless saw the now-former champion spit out his mouthpiece during the 10-count.
Matthysse was making his first real world title defense after winning the belt back in January when he defeated Tewa Kiram for the belt. Matthysse only previously held an interim title at junior welterweight, but he had never won a world title at welterweight.
The win over Matthysse surely extended Pacquiao’s career, which many had thought this fight could end up being his last if he did not come out with a victory. As the WBA champion, there are a number of fights that Pacquiao could consider next, including two world champions at Top Rank: WBA lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko and WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.
A fight against Lomachenko had been openly explored by Top Rank CEO Bob Arum, with the possibility that Lomachenko’s next fight, currently scheduled to take place between November and December, would be against the future Hall of Famer.
When asked about who he wants to fight next, Pacquiao did not answer, saying he wanted to relish the moment and enjoy the victory, not wanting to think about his boxing future.
This was Pacquiao’s first stoppage win since a late victory over Miguel Cotto in 2009 and it was his first win overall since beating Jessie Vargas in 2016 to win the WBO welterweight, which he then lost it to Jeff Horn in his first title defense. Pacquiao got his 60th career victory with the victory over Matthysse.