Much to Lucas Matthysse’s surprise, Manny Pacquiao was able to reintroduce an old weapon during their WBA welterweight title clash at the Axiata Arena in Kula Lumpur on Sunday.
The eight-division world champion utilized his underrated right hook, known to boxing fans as the “Manila Ice.”
Fight analysts said it was that right hook that effectively took the fight out of Matthysse when Pacquiao forced the Argentinean to take a knee in the third round.
“Bumibitaw siya ng right hand before pero not as often as what we saw sa laban kay Matthysse,” boxing analyst Dennis Principe said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
“Talagang 'yung pangarap ni Freddie Roach na right hand nakita natin sa laban na to. Sa tingin ko iyon ang naging malaking factor sa pagkapanalo ni Manny.”
The Manila Ice was something that Pacquiao and Roach started to develop after the Pinoy boxer’s defeat to Erik Morales back in 2005. That punch turned the Filipino southpaw into a two-fisted fighter.
But the Filipino champion has been neglecting to use that shot in his past few fights.
This is why analysts believe Matthysse was surprised when Pacquiao popped out plenty of right hands.
“He never expected a 39-year-old Manny Pacquiao mayroon pang ipapakitang bagong armas. That's the very potent right jab and right hook ni Manny Pacquiao,” said Principe.
Pacquiao floored Matthysse thrice — the first caused by an uppercut in the third round.
The next was in the fifth when Pacquiao unloaded the right hand that forced Matthysse to take a knee.
When he fell a third time in the seventh, the Argentinean looked ready to surrender prompting referee Kenny Bayless to wave off the fight.
For his part, fight analyst Ed Tolentino said the end began for Matthysse when he got struck with that right hook that led to the second knockdown.
“Very critical 'yung second knockdown… ‘yung pangalawang knockdown, ‘yun ang nagkumbinsi kay Matthysse na this is going to be a long night at ganito na ang magiging tempo ng laban,” he said.
“The second knockdown took away any belief na pwede siyang maka-upset kay Manny Paquiao.”
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)