The last time Manny Pacquiao scored a TKO prior to Sunday, LeBron James had yet to make his “decision,” Peyton Manning was a Colt and World Cup hero Kylian Mbappe was just 10 years old.
It had been nine years since PacMan had won a bout via knockout but that drought ended in Kuala Lumpur as Pacquiao defeated WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse via technical knockout in the 7th round.
Pacquiao dominated the fight throughout and looked like the old Manny Pacquiao instead of an old Manny Pacquiao.
ICYMI: Manny Pacquiao defeated Lucas Matthysse via a 7th-round TKO in his return to the ring Saturday night. pic.twitter.com/68iEdjY9ds
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 15, 2018
He first knocked down Matthysse in the third round with a left uppercut and then dropped him again in the fifth round with a series of jabs and overhand rights to the temple.
With that second knockdown, history was made as Matthysse had never been dropped more than once in any of his previous 44 fights.
But PacMan wasn’t finished just yet and continued to pummel his opponent. In the seventh round, Pacquiao delivered a hard left uppercut that proved to be the final punch of the night. Matthysse went down to one knee and the official began his count before quickly realizing that the Argentinian was done.
Pacquiao had the edge in both quantity and quality of punches thrown, according to CompuBox. While Matthysse had the edge in jabs landed, Pacquiao had the edge in total punches landed and the all-important power punches landed.
— CompuBox (@CompuBox) July 15, 2018
“Matthysse has the power, so hands up all the time and do my best,” Pacquiao said of his game plan. “I’m surprised because Matthysse is a very tough opponent and I knocked him down. I was focused and patient in the fight, and I worked hard in training. We did a good job in training. We were pushing hard.”
Pacquiao entered the fight as the only eight-division world champion in boxing history and continued to add to his legacy with the victory.
Pacquiao’s last knockout came in November 2009 against Miguel Cotto. He fought 13 times in between that bout and this one while posting a 9-4 record.
Manny Pacquiao is now the first boxer to win a share of the welterweight title on four occasions. pic.twitter.com/bc4IWimf4o
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 15, 2018
With him showing he still has it just months shy of his 40th birthday, thie victory opens up many future possibilities for the WBA welterweight champion.
He could take on one of the other welterweight champions in Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. or Terrence Crawford, though he would be an underdog vs. any of those three.
Or he could ride off into the sunset and just continue his day job as a senator in the Philippines, a role he will hold until 2022.
Either way, Pacquiao now has options in front of him which is likely something he wouldn’t have had without a decisive victory.
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