Manny Pacquiao defeats Lucas Matthysse
Almost a full decade since his last knockout win, Manny Pacquiao reminded everyone on Sunday that he’s not quite done yet.
Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who turns 40 in December, quieted suspicion that he had slipped dangerously past his prime by showing flashes of his old self in a one-sided dismantling of Argentine brawler Lucas Matthysse at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
With a partisan crowd cheering him on, the Filipino icon and senator by day relied on speed and awkward angles to score his first stoppage since he finished Miguel Cotto in 2009 at the peak of his fighting prime.
Pacquiao, the only boxer in history to win titles in eight divisions, also claimed Matthysse’s WBA regular welterweight title while full champion Keith Thurman continues to sit idle with injuries.
“Thank God for this victory,” Pacquiao said. “This is all dedicated to God and all the Filipino people. Thank you to our country and our president for watching this fight.”
Rumors of Pacquiao’s demise, which were fueled in part by his puzzling decision to cut ties with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, proved far too premature as longtime cornerman Buboy Fernandes and strength coach Justin Fortune took over the lead.
Unlike his disputed decision loss to Jeff Horn last July in their title bout, Pacquiao looked focused and prepared.