It was a loaded week for the fight business. Plenty of top-notch, world-class performances to choose the Fighter Of The Week from. World title-winning performances and star-making outings from hotshot prospects. However, of all the masterful performances this weekend produced one legend stood tallest. Manny Pacquiao was able to go to the well one more time and muster up one more great performance. If the Filipino legend was considered washed up or over the hill by the critics, he went a long way in silencing them and put himself back in the thick of the welterweight division, capturing a version of the WBA belt and erasing the memories of the Jeff Horn fight from last year
Following the longest layoff of his career, Pacquiao dominated every second of every round in his title capturing performance over Lucas Matthysse. Showing off the footwork, hand speed and combination punching that made him a boxing icon a decade ago. Pacquiao floored Mathysse three times on his way to stopping the Argentine champion ending his knockout-less streak at nine-years. In the process, Pac Man landed an overwhelming 95 punches compared to Pacquiao’s 57, according to CompuBox. Perhaps, not that startling punch outputs that Pacquiao put together when he was stopping the likes of Hatton and Cotto and Oscar and Maragito, but still a solid work rate and good solid and accurate power punching to go with the dazzling hand speed he used to pepper Matthysse with the left hand at will. “I’m still here,” Pacquiao said. “Sometimes you just need to rest and get it back, and that’s what I did.” Pacquiao is certainly still here. It was Pacquiao’s 60th victory, his first win since November of 2016 when he defeated Jessie Vargas it was also Pac’s first knockout since stopping the legendary Miguel Cotto in November of 2009.
Pacquiao guaranteed that we will get at least one more mega fight. With the win over Matthysse, he didn’t just capture a WBA belt, he guaranteed us at least one more stop on this amazing ride that has been the career of Manny Pacquiao. There are several options that seem realistic for Pacquiao to pursue at this time. Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford will be the first names thrown around, additionally, Keith Thurman holds the “Super” version of the WBA so a fight between the two makes a lot of sense, Adrien Broner has allegedly signed a massive deal with Mayweather promotions, we are sure Mayweather is looking to cash in on his new acquisition. A Pacquiao/Broner showdown would be a PPV blockbuster and money maker if nothing else, and of course we are certain the name Amir Khan will be thrown in the mix again. We will likely see Pacquiao again in the fourth quarter of this year regardless of the opponent, Pacquiao has re-established himself as not just a massive payday but one of the premier welterweights in the world and a real threat to anyone he steps in the ring with.