‘Smoking hot’ Pacquiao rolls back years to knock out Matthysse

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Pacquiao registered the 60th win of a fabled 23-year career (AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15: Manny Pacquiao rolled back the years as he stopped WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse on Sunday — the 39-year-old Filipino icon’s first knockout win since 2009.
It was a dominant, devastating display as “smoking hot” 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.
“It was a long time ago since I’ve done that. I came out smoking hot,” said Pacquiao who extended his record to 60 wins, seven losses and two draws.
“I’m surprised I knocked him down so early — in the third, fifth and seventh.
“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.”
A shell-shocked Matthysse, who had come in with a record of 36 knockouts in 39 wins with just four defeats, conceded he had no answer to Pacquiao’s speed, movement and power as the “old Manny” returned with a vengeance.
“It’s most difficult to be fighting Manny Pacquiao,” he said. “He’s a great fighter. I lost to a great legend.”
On a great morning in Malaysia for fighters for the Philippines, Jhack Tepora earlier stopped Mexico’s Edivaldo Ortega to win the interim World Boxing Association featherweight title. (Agencies)