For boxing fans, it was a tense weekend as eyes turned to Kuala Lumpur, where former eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao was set to face Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse for the latter’s WBA (Regular) Welterweight Championship belt. Over a year has passed since Pacquiao lost the WBO Welterweight title to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane via unanimous decision after 12 rounds. Analysts were wondering if this would be the fight that finally retires Manny Pacquiao.

As reported by ESPN, which also broadcast the fight, there was nothing for Pacquiao’s fans in the Philippines and around the world to worry about.

Not only did the one-time pound-for-pound boxing champion win against Matthysse, he did so by pulling off something he has not been able to do in almost a decade. He won by a knockout, which he did by scoring a TKO against the Argentinian in Round Seven, after flooring him twice beforehand.

Return of 'classic' Pacquiao

Both fighters went into the match on Sunday, July 15, at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with supreme confidence in a win. Manny Pacquiao was true to form in believing in himself despite the setback of his loss to Jeff Horn, and reports of strained relations with Bob Arum of Top Rank Promotions. Lucas Matthysse, meanwhile, was determined to be remembered as the opponent who ended Pacquiao’s long boxing career.

When the bell rang, however, the initial rounds showed something Pacquiao fans have not seen in a long time: a true brawling fighting style and a return of his left-hand power punches. Forbes reports that Matthysse, who looked in peak condition during training, was caught flat-footed during the match by the older Filipino fighter’s assault, being knocked down in the third, fifth and seventh rounds.

Despite analyst (and former Pacquiao opponent) Timothy Bradley’s assessment that Matthysse could have still fought on after his third fall, the Argentinian did not get up, giving the technical knockout victory to Pacquiao, his first KO win since 2009 against Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

Possible future fights

Pacquiao’s triumph over Matthysse, which earned him another welterweight championship title, now puts his fight record at an impressive 60 wins – 39 by KO, against seven defeats and two draws.

This is being seen by observers as a sign that the 39-year-old Filipino boxer is still a formidable contender, despite his age and splitting his time between boxing and his political career in the Philippines.

While the new WBA Welterweight champion did not name any specific opponents for the future after the match against Matthysse, Pacquiao expressed hope that he could get another fight in before 2018 comes to an end. Top Rank Promotions congratulated the Filipino fighter for making an even 60 victories. Meanwhile, one of its undefeated boxers, WBC interim light welterweight champ Regis Prograis, mentioned his desire to take on Pacquiao following his own win over another Argentinian, Juan Jose Velasco, that same weekend on Saturday, July 14.