Manny Pacquiao scores first knockout in nine years

Almost a full decade since his last knockout win, Manny Pacquiao reminded everyone on Sunday that he’s not quite done yet.

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who turns 40 in December, quieted suspicion that he had slipped dangerously past his prime by showing flashes of his old self in a one-sided dismantling of Argentine brawler Lucas Matthysse at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pacquiao, the only boxer in history to win titles in eight divisions, also claimed Matthysse’s WBA regular welterweight title while full champion Keith Thurman continues to sit idle with injuries.

Rumors of Pacquiao’s demise, which were fueled in part by his puzzling decision to cut ties with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, proved far too premature as longtime cornerman Buboy Fernandes and strength coach Justin Fortune took over the lead. Unlike his disputed decision loss to Jeff Horn last July in their title bout, Pacquiao looked focused and prepared.

Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs) looked slow and disinterested as he struggled throughout dealing with Pacquiao’s speed and footwork.

Pacquiao outlanded Matthysse 344 to 246, according to CompuBox, and connected on 44 percent of his power shots. Along with working in body shots on lead left hands to slow Matthysse down, Pacquiao repeatedly caught him leaning forward with uppercuts that split the guard.

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