Manny Pacquiao put on a dominant display to stun defending champion Lucas Matthysse with a seventh-round knockout and claim the WBA welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.
The 39-year-old Filipino legend looked focused and busy from the opening bell and had the 15,000 fans at the Axiata Arena on their feet when he sent his Argentine opponent to the canvas three times in total with an array of clubbing blows.
The southpaw dropped his opponent for the final time with a brutal uppercut and the win, his first inside the distance since 2009, improves the eight-division world champion’s record to 60-7-2.
“I’m surprised. Matthysse is a very tough opponent,” Pacquiao said in a post-fight interview following a performance in which he showed glimpses of the spectacular form that catapulted him to the top of global boxing over a decade ago.
“I knocked him down and that’s a bonus for being patient in the fight, and working hard in training.”