Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse: Knockout Video Replay, Fight Stats, Reaction

Nate Loop@Nate_LoopFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

Lucas Matthysse, left, of Argentina falls after receiving a punch by Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Filipino boxing legend Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory Sunday with a seventh-round knockout of Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years, that will help revive his career. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)
Yam G-Jun/Associated Press

Manny Pacquiao, 39 years old and 23 years into his professional boxing career, proved his doubters wrong on Sunday. A year removed from a frustrating, controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn, Pacquiao is once again a champion as he scored a seventh-round TKO win over Lucas Matthysse at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

Here's the winning punch, per SportsCenter:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Vintage performance from Pac-Man 🥊 https://t.co/5dXBSlQ2h4

The win is the 60th of Pacquiao's career and earned him the WBA "regular" world welterweight title (Keith Thurman remains the WBA "super" champion at 147 pounds).

It was the Filipino legend's first win by stoppage since he knocked out Miguel Cotto in May of 2009, a statistic that sounds impossible for those who remember his prime but only demonstrates how far removed Pacquiao is from his peak form and why some question why he still chooses to fight. 

Perhaps it's because he knows he can still beat the right fighter. Matthysse has been a threat for much of his career, with 39 wins (36 by stoppage) in his career, but he looked slow, flat-footed and completely lost against a fighter four years his senior. He wasn't big enough to bully Pacquiao (like Horn did for a few rounds) or quick enough to string together combinations. He boxed at a middle distance, and was a sitting duck for most of the bout.

As the CompuBox fight stats show, it was an overwhelming display from Pac-Man: 

CompuBox @CompuBox

Final Punch Stats for #PacquiaoMatthysse: Pacquiao landed 44% of his power punches. Matthysse landed single-digit punches in 6 of the 7 rounds. https://t.co/If7tciEsAJ

The knockout in the seventh was no fluke either; it was Matthysse's third trip to the canvas. The left-handed uppercut—a punch that was working throughout the fight for Pacquiao—was nearly a carbon copy of the one that sent Matthysse crumpling in the third round, per Top Rank Boxing:

Top Rank Boxing @trboxing

The power is still there. #PacMatthysse https://t.co/8VYFS2IecZ

The Argentinean never saw it coming. With his head leaning forward over his top foot and his guard way up, Matthysse put himself in the ideal position for a power shot like that, and Pacquiao split the gloves and delivered. 

The fifth-round knockdown saw Pacquiao land a short right hook to the temple. Matthysse appeared to absorb the blow, but a couple of seconds later he dropped to one knee, initiating a count from the referee. The punch was somewhat similar to the one that Viktor Postol used to earn a knockout win over Matthysse in 2015. 

The throwback display from Pacquiao earned cautious praise from Ring's Tom Gray:

Tom Gray @Tom_Gray_Boxing

1/2 As always, a privilege to watch @mannypacquiao do his job. LEVELS above Matthysse and found openings with the ease of a teenager using a toddlers block puzzle #PacquiaoMatthysse #boxing

Tom Gray @Tom_Gray_Boxing

2/2 The downside of the @mannypacquiao victory is the possibility of him being thrown in with someone who has too much for him. I think a Jeff Horn rematch in Malaysia would be a perfect (and deserved) ending #PacquiaoMatthysse #boxing

Some like boxing journalist Andreas Hale and FightNights.com chalked up the ease with which Pacquiao controlled the fight to Matthysse's inability to pose a threat: 

Andreas Hale @AndreasHale

You have to throw punches while Pacquiao is throwing and catch him coming in. If you wait, he’s already gone.

FightNights.com @boxing

My main thought from last night is that Manny Pacquiao had a washed up, perfect style opponent for him. It doesn’t change my opinion that Crawford, Loma, or Spence beat him.

The win at least shows that Pacquiao himself is capable of posing a threat in what is arguably boxing's most talented division.

"I'm still here," Pacquiao said, per ESPN.com's Nick Parkinson.

"Sometimes you just need to rest and get it back, and that's what I did."

Pacquiao did take a year between fights, but another year off would put him well past 40 years old. If he wants to cash in on the victory, he will have to set something up sooner. Matthysse hardly looked like his best self, which does make Pacquiao's true form hard to gauge, but he at least looked supremely fit and hungry for more.

It's clear Pacquiao and his promoters have the foundation for another big fight. He might even get back to pay-per-view status if he takes on a boxer like Thurman, Terence Crawford or Errol Spence Jr. 

Whether he should take on those guys or not is another question entirely, but this version of Pacquiao hardly looked like a boxer ready to quit.