He’s back. Philippine boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao now has a WBA belt in his hands.
The eight-division world champion is back at the top of the welterweight ladder, dethroning Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in a seventh-round knockout at the main event of “Fight of the Champions” at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sunday.
Pacquiao took the belt in style, scoring his first knockout win in nine years.
Pacquiao, boxing for the first time since cutting ties with longtime mentor Freddie Roach, went aggressive from the get-go, frustrating the Argentinian early on.
Pacquiao then connected on a left uppercut that floored Matthysse in Round 3, showing an early sign that the bout will not last long.
Pacquiao later connected on jabs that once again knocked Matthysse down in Round 5.
Matthysse had his brightest moment in Round 6, landing a 1-2-3 combination.
Pacquiao caught him again in Round 7, and referee Kenny Bayless had seen enough and put the fight to an end.
Pacquiao, who won a WBA world title belt for the first time ever, won a welterweight belt for the fifth time in his career while scoring his 60th career win.
This is his first win via stoppage since knocking out Miguel Cotto on Nov. 15, 2009. PNA