After a one-year layoff, Manny Pacquiao put questions of durability to rest with his 7th round TKO win over Argentinian Lucas Mathysse. The victory added yet another strap to his illustrious collection: the WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Title. The fight which aired on ESPN+ as a subscriber exclusive, took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at Axiata Arena.
Going into the fight, Manny Pacquiao decidedly shuffled the decks, making unilateral changes to his training staff. As predicted, Pacquiao chased the fight right from the opening bell, utilizing his jab against his slower opponent who saw his opportunities to counter shrink with time. By the 3rd round Manny Pacquiao had essentially taken command of the fight, after scoring a knockdown off a "powerful left uppercut."
While the uppercut didn't seem to badly hurt Lucas Mathysse, it did restrict his movement going forward. Knowing the fight was but perhaps one punch away from being called, Pacquiao decided to bide his time with methodical shots to the body, further weakening the resolve of his opponent. By the 5th Manny had scored yet another knockdown when his right hand to the temple forced Mathysse onto one knee.
The final straw occured in the 7th when Manny scored a third knockdown off a left uppercut. Incidentally the referee had seen enough to warrant a stoppage, calling the fight at at 2 minutes, 43 seconds. A dejected and fatigued Mathysse motioned to his corner then spat out his mouthguard with great relief having escaped the round with his honour, and more importantly his health.
At the peak of his powers, Lucas Mathysse was considered a real live threat in the sport of boxing, especially in the Junior Welterweight division right below his current fighting weight. Manny on the other hand, has plenty of reason to postpone his retirement after posting what many pundits consider a "vintage performance."