Manny Pacquiao Returns To Winning Belts and Delivers First Knockout Since 2009
Posted on: July 16, 2018, 10:30h.
Last updated on: July 16, 2018, 09:09h.
Manny Pacquiao took a step back in time on Saturday in delivering his first knockout since 2009 and winning another belt in the process, claiming the WBA welterweight title.
The 39-year-old Filipino TKO’d Argentinian challenger Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Billed as the “Fight of Champions,” Matthysse was no worthy opponent.
Pacquiao landed 95 punches to Matthysse’s 57. The underdog fell to the mat two times before Manny delivered the fight-ending blow in the seventh round.
“I’m still here,” said Pacquiao, whose career record now stands at 60-7-2, 39 KOs. “Sometimes you just need to rest and get it back, and that’s what I did.”
Pacquiao entered the fight as the favorite at -210. For every $100 wagered, bettors won $47.62.
Pacquiao took the WBA (Regular) welterweight belt from Matthysse in the victory. Matthysse is now 39-5, 36 KOs. ESPN boxing writer Nick Parkinson opined his major title career might be finished.
“After offering such little opposition and danger against Pacquiao, Matthysse, 35, may never fight for major titles again. He looked slow and his reactions let him down in his fifth professional defeat,” Parkinson declared.
Many boxing critics felt Pacquiao’s career was all but finished. His fight a year ago this month against Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight championship was his fourth defeat in his previous nine fights.
Horn’s victory was controversial. Fighting in his home Australia, boxing analysts felt the judges unfairly sided with Horn in the 12-round decision.
ESPN’s TJ Quinn said, “No way in hell Horn won unanimously. This is a hometown hit job.”
Regardless, Pacquiao lost. Since then, the great has been focused on his role serving in the Philippines Senate. But with large tax debts still owed in the US, and Manny is expected to continue chasing paydays when he can.
His victory over the weekend better qualifies him to enter the ring against marquee fighters who are in their prime and will likely be favored against the older Pacquiao.
Manny was mum on who and when he might wish to step back into the ring against. But there are several favorites as to who that person might be.
“Fights against Keith Thurman (who holds the full WBA world title), IBF champion Errol Spence Jr, or WBO king Terence Crawford would be big pay days for Pacquiao, but fights most would expect him to lose,” Parkinson detailed.
Pacquiao has proven in the past he isn’t scared of being an underdog. It was only a little more than three years ago that Manny stepped into the ring against Floyd Mayweather in what was dubbed the “Fight of the Century.”
Despite most of the money being wagered on fan-favorite Pacquiao, oddsmakers didn’t want to have to root for the underdog and kept Mayweather the heavy favorite at -240. Floyd won by unanimous decision after 12 rounds.
The fight was one of the richest in boxing history, with pay-per-view revenue estimated to be north of $500 million.
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