Manny Pacquiao secures rare stoppage against Lucas Matthysse

Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao stopped WBA champion Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round to win back the welterweight world title at the age of 39.

Pacquiao rolled back the years with a devastating display, initially knocking down his Argentine opponent in the third round at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

And when Matthysse went down for the third time in the seventh, referee Kenny Bayless stepped in to stop the contest.

It was Filipino icon Pacquiao's first win inside the distance since 2009 and the 60th victory of his incredible 23-year career, which now looks certain to extend beyond his 40th birthday in December.

Matthysse is renowned as a big puncher himself but he was floored by a stunning left uppercut in the third.

The 35-year-old had no answer to the speed of Pacquiao and went down again in the fifth, before a right-left combination finished him off two rounds later.

"I'm surprised 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."

A shell-shocked Matthysse had come in with a record of 36 knockouts in 39 wins with just four defeats.

"It's most difficult to be fighting Manny Pacquiao," he said. "He's a great fighter. I lost to a great legend."

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