DUMAGUETE CITY – Manny Pacquiao was a masterpiece, Lucas Matthysse a big joke.
There are several other superlatives fit to celebrate Pacquiao’s glittering one-man show in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. He indeed looked nearly as magnificent as the younger Pacquiao of old. Better yet, he was magically more mature. He has patiently, painfully graduated from a devil-may-care slugger into masterful well-rounded warrior.
Pacquiao himself was a masterpiece. But it would be wrong to call his triumph, the 60th in his legendary career, a classic, or one memorable theater for the ages.
There was hardly a conflict, no clear risk. There was also the absence of catharsis.
The tale was concluded right after the first round.
Of course, the one-sided result generated instant hysteria, to the point that it had been taken as a victory song that supposedly united our poor conflicted nation.
There swirled an infectious national delight.
Yes, marvelous. But wasn’t the fight, in its impurity, also a tasteless and shameful mismatch?
Majority of local fans would realize the morning after how they had been short-changed, as though served a spoiled dish in a banquet.
Pacquiao, 39, did loom young as 28 at the first bell. He was cautious, tentative at the start.
It took no time before he turned sharp and wholly dominant, thereby reducing Matthysse into an easy cowering target.
Pacquiao dropped his confused, undecided foe a total of three times, before the referee waved Matthysse out after he spat his mouthpiece at the end of the seventh round.
By the way, a couple of days before the championship, Pacquiao said he felt young and fully renewed.
“I’m excited, I’m hungry, I’m happy,” he declared.
Ahead of Pacquiao, Matthysse, heavily tattooed like a feared goon, was claiming he would be ready to die to defend his crown.
What caused the dreadful deterioration?
“Matthysse did not fight. He did not try,” cried the famous boxing expert and analyst Teddy Atlas.
Defended Matthysse:, heading home after collecting a fat paycheck “I go home with my head raised very high. I came in and in there but nothing played out as I wanted.”
It could be the end of his career, but Matthysse said he would rest before deciding on his future.
Is there a future for a high-powered warrior, a knockout artist, who surrendered on his knees without taking a legit killer punch?
Mathysse was a big joke.
He was undecided on whether to run to the bank or return to his corner.
(By Recah Trinidad)