Manny Pacquiao rolled back the years as he stopped WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse on Sunday—the 39-year-old Filipino icon’s first win inside the distance since 2009.
It was a dominant, devastating display as Pacquiao registered the 60th win of a fabled 23-year career that now looks certain to extend beyond his 40th birthday in December.
Pacquiao knocked down the big-puncher from Argentina as early as the third round with a stunning left uppercut that thudded around the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.
The 35-year-old Argentine, who came in with a reputation as a big puncher, had no answer to Pacquiao’s blistering speed and he dropped again in the fifth.
When a right-left combination thudded home to send Matthysse crashing down for a third time in the seventh round referee Kenny Bayless stepped in to save him from further punishment.
“I’m surprise I knocked him down so early,” said Pacquiao who extended his record to 60 wins, seven losses and two draws. “I’m surprised I knocked Matthysse down in the third, fifth and seventh.
“It was a long time ago since I’ve done that. I came out smoking hot.
“We did a good job in training. We were not pushing hard — we controlled our pace and ourselves.
“I’m no longer young so thanks to my trainer and all my team members.” (Agence France-Presse)