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After a nearly one year absence, Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KO) returned to the ring with an emphatic seventh-round KO victory over Lucas Matthysse (39-5).

Pacquiao captured the WBA Welterweight title with the victory.

This was a lopsided victory as Pacquiao dominated from start to finish. Pacquiao dropped Matthysse in the third, fifth and the final one in the seventh. Throughout the bout, Pacquiao was the faster fighter and his punches had far more effect than Matthysse’s shots.

As sharp as Pacquiao looked, the same can’t be said for Matthysse. He looked slow, tentative and intimidated. Analyst and former Pacquiao foe Timothy Bradley opined, “I think Matthysse could have gotten up from that last knockdown,” and his colleagues second his statement.

It’s hard to disagree. Matthysse looked more frustrated and mentally defeated than he was hurt. That said, he looked like a shadow of the fighter who was once one of the sport’s most feared. Many in the boxing also recognized his diminished form.

Despite Matthysse’s less-than-impressive performance, Pacquiao likely showed enough to arrange a big-money fight at welterweight or perhaps even at 140 pounds.

Undefeated Top Rank budding star and champion Regis Prograis called Pacquiao out after his win on Saturday night over Juan Jose Velasco.

During the post-fight interview, Pacquiao was non-committal on his future and he didn’t want to call out an opponent, but he did appear to be open to fighting again before the end of the year.

Pacquaio’s purse for the fight was unclear, but Matthysse was reportedly in line to take home $2.5 million, which is by far a career-high for him. That’s not a horrible consolation prize.

Source: Brian Mazique

www.sports24ghana.com