Matthysse talks about loss to Pacquiao
By Allan Fox: WBA regular welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs) was trying to make sense of his 7th round blowout loss to Manny Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) last Saturday night. The fight took place at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Due to the fight being streamed on ESPN+, a lot of boxing fans chose not to pay the $5 to watch it. The fans weren’t intrigued enough by the match-up for them to want to pay the $5 to see it.
Matthysse looked horrible throughout the fight. Pacquiao landed a big shot in the 7th that knocked Matthysse down for the third and final time. Matthysse looked like he didn’t want any more after that knockdown. He’d already been dropped twice earlier in the fight. Whatever ideas that Matthysse had of trying to win the fight went down the drain with the third knockdown. He was officially done.
Matthysse looked so bad that it made it difficult to give Pacquiao any credit for the victory after the fight. Matthysse had the type of performance that suggests that he was completely shot. It looked like Matthysse gave up trying to win the fight by round 3. He was just going through the motions after round 3.
Matthysse spent most of the fight looking to load up on hard shots, and that was the wrong thing to do against the speedy counter punching Pacquiao. Matthysse was getting hit with jabs and nailed with uppercuts throughout the fight, and he was helpless to stop the shots from hitting home.
Matthysse failed to take advantage of the 39-year-old Pacquiao’s age and his ring rust by pushing a fast pace, and roughing him up to wear him down. The former eight weight class world champion Pacquiao was there to be beat if Matthysse had used the right game plan to beat him. Matthysse just didn’t’ know how to learn from the fighters that had beaten Pacquiao in the past. Matthysse failed to use his jab the way that Floyd Mayweather Jr. did in his win over Pacquiao in 2015. A jab would have been a good starting point for Matthysse to use to defeat Pacquiao. Roughing Pacquiao up would have been a good idea as well because Jeff Horn had used that to beat him last year. Matthysse never even attempted to rough him up.
“He’s a great fighter and a great champion,” Matthysse said after the fight. “It was turned around — sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today was my turn to lose. But I lost to a great fighter and great legend in Manny Pacquiao.”
Matthysse would have lost to a lot of fighters last Saturday. Pacquiao didn’t beat Matthysse because he’s still a great fighter. Pacquiao won because he was inside the ring with a fighter with a lot of holes in his game. Matthysse’s flaws were compounded by his age and a horrible game plan. It was a perfect storm. Matthysse had everything going against him in this fight. If Matthysse had a halfway decent game plan, he would have given Pacquiao fits.
Pacquiao was challenging for Matthysse’s regular World Boxing Association 147 lb. title after a year of inactivity. Pacquiao picked the right champion to fight for him to shine and win a world title. It’s clear that if Pacquiao had selected IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. to fight last Saturday night, it would have worked out badly for him. Pacquiao saw weakness in Matthysse’s game, and he was able to get a title shot against him straightaway after one-year of inactivity without needing to work his way to a
world title shot the way that a normal fighter would need to do. Pacquiao’s popularity enabled him to get a crack at a title after a long layoff. Matthysse failed to look at his game to realize what flaws that Pacquiao would look to take advantage of. Had the Argentinian scrutinized his game then perhaps things would have been different last Saturday night when he got inside the ring with the senator from the Philippines.
”[Now I will] take rest, take a break.,” Matthysse said.” I worked really hard. I want to go back home with my family. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today was my turn to lose, but nothing more. I’m OK.”
Matthysse might as well take a permanent break from boxing because it’s doubtful that he’s going to get another title shot. Even if Matthysse does get a fight against one of the champions, he’s going to lose and lose badly. If Matthysse wants to improve, he needs to stay busy and get a better trainer to help him fix the flaws in his game so that the next time he faces a skilled guy like Pacquiao that he’ll have a better chance of winning.
Pacquiao showed to a lot of boxing fans that he still has a lot left in his game after 23 years as a pro. Pacquiao isn’t the shot fighter that the fans thought he was going into the fight. He’s not the same guy he was years ago, but he still has enough left to beat smaller, older fighters with limited boxing skills like Matthysse.
Pacquiao’s trainer Buboy Fernandez gloated about his win after the fight, saying that they were ready for Matthysse. The way that Matthysse looked, it’s not a big deal that they were ready for Matthysse.
“It might have been a trick. But we were ready for Matthysse,” Fernandez said via ESPN.com.
Pacquiao had an old fighter in 35-year-old Matthysse, and that obviously helped his situation last Saturday. Facing an older welterweight made it an easy for Pacquiao to return to the ring after such a long layoff.
Getting a knockout was a huge accomplishment for Pacquiao. He got his first knockout since 2009, and that really helps his career. Pacquiao had gone 13 fights without a knockout. Not being able to KO his opponents hurt Pacquiao’s career because the boxing public likes to see KOs, and they tend to follow the knockout punchers in large numbers. Not being able to knockout his foes made Pacquiao less interesting to watch for a lot of boxing fans after 2009. Up until 2009, Pacquiao had been knocking out most of his opponents and looking sensation. But after 2009, Pacquiao’s knockouts dried up completely, and he had to find another way to win his fights by focusing on outworking his opponents. Pacquiao didn’t seem to hurt Matthysse. It looked more like he mentally beat Matthysse. He got hit so many times that he decided to quit. It helps Pacquiao that he was fighting a guy that had quit previously in the past against Viktor Postol. Pacquiao’s stoppage of Matthysse ends his long nine-year gap without knockouts. Before last Saturday night, the last fighter Pacquiao had knocked ou was Miguel Cotto in 2009.
“A long time ago,” said Pacquiao about the last time he knocked out an opponent before the Matthysse fight.
Pacquiao was opening up with combinations from the start of the fight in battering Matthysse. Pacquiao had little trouble landing his head shots in the fight because Matthysse was there to be hit and defenseless. In round 3, Pacquiao knocked Matthysse down with an uppercut. He went down so easily from the uppercut. It looked like he didn’t see the shot coming until after it connected. That made it more powerful than it was.