Considering that his boxing career is headed into its twilight years, Manny Pacquiao's demolition of Lucas Matthysse is probably one of the Pambansang Kamao's most important victories ever. First off, he bounced back in spectacular fashion from a tough loss against previously unknown fighter Jeff Horn.
Second, Manny's relevancy in the boxing world skyrocketed as he scored his first stoppage win in nine years through a scorching left uppercut in the seventh round. And lastly, he proved that he'd do just fine without his longtime partners coach Freddie Roach and Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum.
Win No. 60 has opened a lot of doors for the new WBA welterweight champ and here are the reasons why:
Manny is back to being in the A-list
After dropping a decision to Jeff Horn a year ago, Manny's days as a headliner were perceived to be over, causing his stock to plummet drastically. But his seven-round destruction of the Argentine slugger has changed all of that. Showing that he's still a massive force despite approaching age 40, Manny has put the sport's major players—in and out of the ring—on notice. A Pacquiao bout is once again lucrative and having a bigger name than almost all the other active boxers, Manny should get to dictate the terms during negotiations for his upcoming fights. Pac is back on top of the food chain and until he falls off, there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Manny's got options
Manny's vintage performance says a win over him could now be a gateway to superstardom and supersized paydays, as it was five years ago. As a result, today's upstart boxers all the way to the titleholders must be itching to get a crack at the reinvigorated Filipino warrior, even if it means packing their bags and heading to Asia for the encounter. With his top tier status reinstated, however, Manny's got options. And these are the two best ways Pac can get the most out of his latest conquest:
- Manny can milk his win over Matthysse by choosing relatively easier fights against boxers in the same level as the Argentine knockout artist. By doing so, he can prolong his career as he’s guaranteed to pile up the Ws while cashing in on a decent paycheck.
- Manny can also go for all the marbles and take the big money fights against the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Errol Spence, and Keith Thurman (not Terence Crawford, Pac's got to stay away from this dude). If Manny wins against any of these young guns, then it's 2009 all over again and if he loses, he'll most likely lean towards retirement, which is the logical thing to do considering his age. This is the high-risk-high-reward route for Pac.
MP Promotions' future is bright
Manny's MP Promotions looked shaky building up its first huge show since they parted ways with Bob Arum and Top Rank. Nonetheless, the actual product was solid as Pacquiao's left uppercut. Whether or not it's true that Manny didn't earn much as he took too much out of his own pocket for the bout to push through, we can all consider this event a sound investment. At the end of the day, what the boxing public wants is quality entertainment and that's exactly what Team Pacquiao delivered. From the preliminary bouts, which included a scintillating TKO win by newly crowned Pinoy world champion Jhack Tepora, up to the main feature, the Pacquiao-Matthysse card electrified. Having a strong foundation, we dare say MP Promotions is bound for bigger and more successful endeavors in the future. No amount of bad press, courtesy of Uncle Bob, will be able to sabotage his ex-prizefighter anymore.
No Freddie, no problem
Many were surprised that Manny tapped his lifelong confidante Buboy Fernandez to be his chief trainer for this fight, in place of Freddie Roach. Some didn't know what to make of it and others even frowned upon it early on. But soon enough and ultimately when the dust settled, it all made sense. Who can argue with such an amazing outcome? In his first full collaboration with Buboy, Manny notched his first KO victory since 2009—something he failed to do in almost a decade under Coach Freddie's watch. A fresh perspective, a tighter bond, a trainer who's still has a lot to prove—whatever it is that Buboy brings, it clicks. Not to discredit Coach Freddie, but Buboy appears to be the better trainer for Manny at this particular stage in his career. We expect the two GenSan brothers to ride it out till the end of the road.