World champion again! Pacquiao staves off Father Time, downs Matthysse


Posted at Jul 15 2018 11:59 AM | Updated as of Jul 15 2018 01:43 PM

Manny Pacquiao stands in one corner as Kenny Bayless checks on Lucas Matthysse after his second knockdown in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Lai Seng Sin, Reuters

Manny Pacquiao has demonstrated he can do a lot of things and take on different kinds of roles.

But at the end of the day, he is only one thing to millions of Filipinos — boxing's GOAT.

And Pacquiao made his countrymen believe in that again when he defeated Lucas Matthysse via seventh-round knockout at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to capture the World Boxing Association welterweight world title.

The exact time of stoppage was at the 2:43 mark.

"From the first round, I had in my mind I can control the fight. But our strategy is be patient, don't rush, don't be careless. Just focus, on our hard punches, power punches. That was our strategy resulting to a knockout," Pacquiao said.

"Like I said I'm not done, I'm still here. It's just a matter of time you got to rest then get it back. I owe it to my country."

It was Pacquiao's 60th career win, with the prizefighting senator accomplishing it in front President Rodrigo Duterte, who was seated at a lofty area in the stadium where he was joined by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad cheer on during the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse world-title fight in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Lai Seng Sin, Reuters

Until his demolition of the Argentinean fighter, capped by a vicious left uppercut to Matthysse's face, Pacquiao hadn't won via stoppage since he eviscerated Miguel Cotto in 2009.

Many had wondered whether that version of Pacquiao would ever come back, especially this time he was without Freddie Roach.

Roach and Pacquiao decided to part ways this year, ending a partnership that began in 2001.

It was clear Pacquiao didn't need the hall-of-fame coach, at least not this time, to return to his bruising way of finishing his opponents off.

And on Sunday, the 8-division world champion revived that long-held reputation and subsequently restored hope that there's still more fights — and a big payday, perhaps? — ahead of him.

"I feel so blessed especially Buboy's strategy is very effective," Pacquiao said referring to his new chief trainer, childhood buddy Restituto Fernandez. 

"And then also we did a good job in this training camp and we're blessed with this convincing knockout victory."

Right from the opening bell, this had the makings of a lopsided fight.

Pacquiao floored Matthysse thrice — the first caused by an uppercut in the third round.

The next was in the fifth when Pacquiao let loose a pair of right hands to the chest that got Matthysse falling down on one knee.

When he fell a third time in the seventh, referee Kenny Bayless waved the fight off sending the predominantly Filipino crowd into a frenzy.

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