THE THIRD COMING OF MANNY PACQUIAO
By Eddie Alinea
Sun, 15 Jul 2018
KUALA LUMPUR ? ?I?m back!"
With these words, the Filipino boxing icon has served notice to the whole world of his third coming after devastating losses he suffered the past seven years.
Defeats dealt to him by arch-rivals Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012 and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, and only last year by Australian former school teacher Jeff Horn cast doubts on his capability to make it to big time again at age 39.
But the gritty, speedy Filipino eight-division champion proved his detractors wrong with what looked like an easy seventh round technical knockout victory, his first win via stoppage in nine years, at the Axiata Arena here Sunday.
The fighting Philippine Senator dropped the supposedly hard-punching Argentine belt-owner thrice ? one in the third round with a vicious left-right combination, another in the fifth and last in the seventh when the Pacman let-loose with a left uppercut that sent Matthysse kneeling.
Referee Kenny Bayless looked at the deposed champion at his eyes before motioning the fight was over without even counting as Pacquiao jumped and spread-eagled around the ring in celebration of his crowning as the new World Boxing Association welterweight champion.
?I?m back!? Pacquiao exclaimed during the post-fight press conference in what belied conjectures his pro-career is nearing its end.
?I?m not done yet. I?m still here,? he told media men. ?I feel I?m only 27 years old.?
That TKO victory was Pacquao?s first since stopping Miguel Cotto in 12 rounds in 2012. It was, too, his 60th win in 69 fights of a 23-year professional career, 39 of them by stoppage.
The loss was Matthysse?s fifth in a 14-year career.
Matthysse, whose camp had announced he?s going to retire Pacquuao, who, he added is already due for retirement, was never able to land any solid punches.
The fight between two of fleet-footed fighters in the world today was unexpectedly easy that without those knockdowns would have been the dull.
This writer, in fact saw Pacquiao shutting out the title-defender with a 70-42 scorecard when the fight was stopped.
Pacquao took control right at the opening bell connecting with 1-2 and 1-2-3 unanswered combinations, which he continued in the next round.
The Filipino legend served notice of what to come in the third where he caught the Argentine with a left cross and a right straight that fell Matthysse to the seat of his pants.
Sensing he had his rival?s number, Pacquiao continued his pressing attacks in the succeeding period ending the fourth with a solid right. Matthysse was warned of a head butt earlier in the round.
Another warning, this time of low blow completely disarmed the champion who fell victim to that left uppercut in the seventh that ended his unsuccessful first defense of the WBA 147-pound diadem he won just last January.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.
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