It’s Pac’s first KO since 2009. That’s a long time ago. And Pacquiao actually said he wasn’t necessarily expecting to knock down Matthysse.
“I’m surprised,” he said in the ring after the fight. “Matthysse is a very tough opponent. I knocked him down, and that’s a bonus for being patient in the fight and working hard in training.”
Rightly, Pacquiao said he was worried about his opponent’s strength.
“Matthysse has the power,” Pacquiao said. “We were were taking care in the ring. Hands up all the time, and do my best.”
As for Matthysse, he said, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today it was my turn to lose. But I lost to a great legend.”
Pacquiao wouldn’t say who he wants to fight next, and he said he’s not decided if he wants to compete again this year. But Top Rank’s Bob Arum has mentioned Vasiliy Lomachenko as a possible next fight. I don’t think that would end well for Pacquiao, but hey, I don’t think many expected Pacquiao to look as good as he did tonight.
— Ryan Songalia (@ryansongalia) July 15, 2018
Seventh round: Though Pac is winning a shutout, he’s looking just a tad tired, I think. I’d be a little worried that Lucas is going to start loading up and trying to land a KO punch. But so far, Lucas hasn’t really landed anything solid on Pac, and Pac keeps peppering him. Man, Lucas is basically doing. And now Pac knocks him down again. And the FIGHT IS OVER. Lucas isn’t getting up, because he doesn’t want to get up.
Sixth round: Replays who that Pac landed a little hook to the top of Lucas’ head and that’s why he took the knee. Now, Lucas hits him low, and Pac has to take a break. He is in some pain right now. Fight restarts, and Pac is blasting away. Big left by Pac halfway through, as Lucas lands a couple of jabs. But Pac hits him with a combo to the body. Forbes scores it for Pac.
Overall: Pac 60-52
Fifth round: Pac is peppering Lucas with lefts early in the round. Now, he’s focusing more on the body. The two but heads midway through, but no blood has emerged. Pac is throwing plenty of jabs, which is probably one reason we’re not seeing more activity from Lucas. Lucas lands a couple of rights with about 30 seconds to go. Then, Lucas, out of nowhere, just takes a knee. Another knockdown for Pac. For a 39-year-old going for his 60th professional win, he looks pretty darn good so far. Forbes scores it for Pac.
Overall: Pac 50-43
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) July 15, 2018
Fourth round: Replays show that Pac landed a nice left uppercut to knock Lucas to the ground in the last round. Pac blinded him with a jab and then landed a shot Lucas wasn’t expecting. As ESPN’s Tim Bradley points out on the broadcast, Lucas isn’t showing any head movement, which is obviously making it easy for Pac to land shots to Lucas’s head. Lucas lands a left to the body that might have strayed a little low. Lucas lands a nice right to Pac’s head, but Pac hits him about 10 seconds later with a nice left. This was a better round for Matthysse and awfully close. Pac’s work in the last 30 seconds, though, wins him the round. Forbes scores it for Pac.
Overall: Pac 40-35
Third round: Lucas cuffs Pac with a left, and then Pac knocks down Lucas. Lucas doesn’t seem hurt. Not sure what happened there. Lucas lands a right, and Pac seems like he wants to stalk just a little more. Pac is landing some shots on the body. Though Lucas’ balance doesn’t seem great, I think Lucas is fine. But after the knockdown, he’s going to be pretty far behind on the scorecards. Forbes scores it for Pac.
Overall: Pac 30-26
Second round: Lucas a little more aggressive early in the round. And he lands a nice jab. Pac, though, is still throwing plenty. So far, there’s more in-fighting in this round. That would worry me if I was a Pac fan. Pac lands a sharp jab and then a couple more punches. Pac, for the most part, is still controlling the action in the ring. Forbes scores it for Pac.
Overall: Pac 20-18
First round: Just to let you know, I’ll be referring to Pacquiao as “Pac” and Matthysse as “Lucas.” It’s just easier to spell it that way as I furiously type away during the fight. Pac lands a jab as Lucas was coming in to stop him in his tracks. He traps Lucas on the ropes for a brief second. But Pac is landing some shots here and there. Still looks relatively quick in the ring. Halfway through, Pac lands two shots to Lucas’ body. Lucas is a little cautious, seems like. Forbes scores it for Pac.
Overall: Pac 10-9
Lucas Matthysse ringwalk: He’s got the hood of his robe over his head, and he looks serious. He’s pounding fists with fans as he passes by and he looks around at his surroundings as he walks to the ring. Matthysse doesn’t look extremely excited to be there.
Manny Pacquiao ringwalk: Yep, Pacquiao is walking first because Matthysse holds a secondary sanctioning body belt and Pacquiao holds nothing. “Eye of the Tiger” is playing in the arena, as Pacquiao is set to step into the spotlight. Sort of weird not to see Freddie Roach with Pacquiao. He’s smiling as he walks through the bowels of the building, and when the fans finally see him, they scream and holler. His pace to the ring is quick, and now, he’s actually jogging.
Who’s hungry?: Apparently Pacquiao was before he left to head over to his fight.
— Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao) July 15, 2018
Jhack Tepora (22-0, 17 KOs) TKO 9 over Edivaldo Ortega (26-2-1, 12 KOs): Though it seemed like Ortega was probably winning the fight through the first eight rounds, Tepora found renewed energy in the ninth and stopped his opponent in a featherweight bout. Tepora, from the Philippines, put his undefeated record on the line in front of the thousands of countrymen who traveled to Malaysia to watch Pacquiao. By the end of the fight, they must have been pleased, as Teporta blasted Ortega with a nasty uppercut with about a minute to go in the round to score a knockdown and then finished him off as the ref stopped the bout about 45 seconds later.
Carlos Canizales (21-0-1, 17 KOs) TKO 12 win over Lu Bin (1-1): Fighting for Canizales’ secondary junior flyweight title in just his second professional fight—trying to outdo Vasily Lomachenko, who fought for a title in his second fight but lost to Orlando Salido—Lu Bin, a 2016 Chinese Olympian, was badly hurt in the 12th, forcing the referee to stop the fight. In the end, Canizales’ experience and late-fight power was too much for Lu Bin. Canizales knocked him down in the 11th, and he hurt him multiple times in the 12th before knocking him to the canvas. With only seconds left in the bout, the referee waved it off.
Here’s what that last knockdown looked like.
Manny Pacquiao, left, will battle vs. Lucas Matthysse from Kuala Lampur on the ESPN+ app. (Photo by Mohd Rasfan/AFP/Getty Images)
Odds: The majority of boxers think Pacquiao will prevail against Matthysse. And yes, he is a slight betting favorite to win.
According to Bovada, Pacquiao is a -210 favorite, meaning you’d have to bet $210 to win $100. Matthysse, meanwhile, is +170, which means you’d earn $170 by wagering $100.
For most of the week, these odds have stayed consistent, meaning, so far, there hasn’t been a big money rush on either fighter.
[Update]: I just checked it again, and now, it’s Pacquiao -250 and Matthysse +195. So, the late money is coming in on Pacquiao.
Purses: It’s unclear how much Pacquiao is making, but his manager Michael Koncz said in April that Pacquiao could make more money for this fight than he earned vs. Jeff Horn ($10 million). Jessie Vargas ($4 million), and the third Timothy Bradley fight ($20 million).
But there have also been whispers that this card in Kuala Lumpur will lose plenty of money for Pacquiao’s promotional company, so that’s something to keep in mind.
“The whole objective is to show the investors that we are capable and we’re real and we can return the money back. Then if they’re happy, we’ll do it again,” Koncz said, via PhilStar.com in April.
As for Matthysse, he’ll reportedly earn a career-high $2.5 million purse. In his last two fights, he’s earned a combined $410,000.
How to stream the fight: Though this card originally was supposed to be on PPV—Pacquiao’s promotional company reportedly missed the deadline to deposit the money that would have allowed that to happen—the only way to legally watch this match in the U.S. is on the ESPN+ streaming app. It is not available on the ESPN network, only on the app.
ESPN+ costs $4.99 per month, but it does allow for a free seven-day trial.
The card starts at 9 p.m. ET, and Pacquiao and Matthysse are scheduled to enter the ring at about 11 p.m.
There are so many questions heading into the Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse fight on Saturday, it’s hard to know where to begin.
Is Pacquiao, at nearly 40 years old, washed up as a fighter? Why is he still fighting? How badly does he need the money? Will he suffer tremendous damage vs. Matthysse? And what about Matthysse? Does he still have the same kind of power that ravaged the 140-pound division now that he’s 35 years old and fighting at 147 pounds? Is Pacquiao—ranked No. 13 on the Pound-For-Pound Moneymakers list—still too quick and tricky for him?
It’s impossible to know the answers to any of those queries, and those unknowns are what make this fight a fascinating possibility.
“Pacquiao has a very unique style. When I fought him, I thought he was going to get tired. He never got tired,” Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Matthysse, said, via ESPN. “So, I don’t know what Pacquiao we are going to see for this fight. I don’t know how distracted he may be. I do know that Matthysse is fully focused and determined. This is the fight of his life. It’s all going to depend on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings. Will it be a distracted Pacquiao? Or a Pacquiao that everyone is used to seeing?”
Either way, Forbes will be here for the fight, giving our round-by-round thoughts, explanations and unofficial scoring.