Manny Pacquiao claimed the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title by defeating defending champion Lucas Matthysse via a seventh-round knockout at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.
This is Pacquiao’s first KO in nine years since his stoppage victory over Miguel Cotto in 2009 for the WBO world welterweight title, and his 60th in 69 career bouts.
This was also his first match since 2001 without longtime trainer Freddie Roach at his corner.
Matthysse spat out his mouthguard 2:43 into the seventh round after the Filipino landed a vicious left uppercut, prompting referee Kenny Bayless to halt the fight.
“We did a good job in training. We were not pushing hard, we controlled ourselves in the training,” Pacquiao said.
The 39-year-old boxer was comfortably ahead the scorecards thanks to two knockdowns before the seventh and a dominant display which saw him dictate the tempo over a seemingly-hesitant opponent.
A left uppercut broke Matthysse’s guard in the third round, and a right hook floored him with less than 10 seconds left in the fifth.
Pacquiao now holds a 60-7-2 win-loss-draw card. This is also his 39th career KO win.
Matthysse, on the other hand, absorbed his fifth loss in 44 fights and failed in his first defense after hammering Thailand’s Tewa Kiram last January for the vacant title.