Over the weekend, Manny Pacquiao returned to the ring and stopped Lucas Matthysse to win the WBA welterweight title. The bout served as the main event on ESPN+ from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 39-year-old Pacquiao had not fought since a 2017 loss to Jeff Horn via decision that cost him the WBO welterweight crown.
“Thank God for this victory,” Pacquiao said (thanks to CBS Sports for the quotes). “This is all dedicated to God and all the Filipino people. Thank you to our country and our president for watching this fight.
“We did a good job and my team in training,” Pacquiao said. “We were not pushing hard like we did when we were very young. We controlled ourselves in the training but it’s heavy training. Thanks to all of my team for working hard in this fight.”
Overall, Pacquiao is now 60-7-2 in his career, with the seventh round TKO being his 39th career stoppage win. It was his first knockout since besting Miguel Cotto in 2009.
“Matthysse has the power also so we were taking care in the ring with hands up all the time and doing my best,” Pacquiao said. “I’m surprised (he was knocked down three times) because Matthysse is a very tough opponent. I knocked him down and that’s a bonus for being focused and patient and in the fight and working hard in training.”
Matthysse had his two-fight win streak snapped, as he fell to 39-5 overall.