Lucas Matthysse was given a decent shot to defeat Manny Pacquiao when the two met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Argentine knockout artist was a slight underdog but thought of as potent enough to hang with a diminished Pacquiao. Instead, Matthysse turned in a poor performance. Now, whereas many thought Pacquiao should retire heading into the fight, maybe it is Matthysse who should hang up his gloves for good.
Matthysse Makes History In Defeat
Heading into the fight against Matthysse, Manny Pacquiao hadn't won a fight via stoppage in nearly a decade. This is largely due to Pacquiao's diminished punching power, but also due to his desire to win fights by defending and counter punching with his quickness. Instead, Pacquiao was the aggressor in the Matthysse fight, bringing the action to the Argentine and knocking him down several times en route to the early stoppage.
For Matthysse, this was a bad job of planning things out. As the Jeff Horn fight showed, Pacquiao can be overwhelmed by an aggressive fighter. Even someone demonstrably less talented than Pacquiao like Horn is capable of making Pacquiao uncomfortable, something Matthysse never appeared to try to do. Instead, Mattysse sat back and waited for opportunities to throw his overhand punches - opportunities that never came.
Even worse for Mattysse was the fact that he was unable to absorb the power punches of Pacquiao. Pacquiao is one of the all-time greats, but he simply doesn't punch as hard as he used to. For Mattysse to be downed on three different occasions was shocking. This was especially true on the second knockdown, where Matthysse appeared to absorb a combination from Pacquiao before just dropping to a knee on his own. It was a bizarre display from a fighter who has hit out at critics of his performance.
Underdog Status Will Stick with Matthysse
Matthysse entered the fight against Pacquiao at less than 2/1 odds, with many pundits and fans picking him to win the fight based on Pacquiao's struggles in the Horn bout. While that may have been a poor justification to back Matthysse, the odds for Matthysse were tempting to many. And with the betting offers UK bookmakers like Paddy Power and Betfred make available, backing Matthysse had the potential to be even more profitable before he performed as poorly as he did.
Heading into his next fight, Matthyse could very well be the underdog again. A potential future bout would be against an opponent with fewer accomplishments than Pacquiao, though. And it has to be wondered if Matthysse should be the fighter to retire after the Matthysse vs. Pacquiao fight. After his struggles, it would be hard to imagine him being able to build himself back up to another high-profile fight.
Whether or not Lucas Matthysse retires, his fight with Pacquiao was one of the more bizarre nights in recent boxing memory. A fighter with knockout power refusing to follow the blueprint of being aggressive to compete with their opponent made for an inexplicably bad performance. Now the question is how Matthysse will be able to rebound from that performance, if and when he fights again.