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Manny Pacquiao's knock's Out Lucas Matthysse

Manny Pacquiao's knock's Out  Lucas Matthysse

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), 39, showed there is life in him yet. This win -- his first knockout since stopping Miguel Cotto in November 2009 -- has silenced arguments that he is on the slide after losing to Jeff Horn a year ago.

It was a return to winning ways after the controversial defeat on points to Australian Horn, and Pacquiao also picked up a secondary world title.

This victory silenced talk of his declining power and instead sets up the possibility of higher-earning fights for the Filipino.

Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs), 35, of Argentina, was floored three times by Pacquiao, who landed an overwhelming 95 punches to 57,according to CompuBox.

Pacquiao -- boxing's only eight-division world champion -- proved his career is not in wind-down or in crisis.

"I'm still here," Pacquiao said. "Sometimes you just need to rest and get it back, and that's what I did."
The jolting left uppercut that decked Matthysse for a third time in the seventh round was proof that Pacquiao should still be taken seriously, regardless of how little threat Matthysse offered. He floored Matthysse with the same precise shot in the third round.

Had Pacquiao delivered another laboured performance like the one against Horn, then there would have been calls for him to retire.

But not now.

Pacman came into the fight after the longest layoff of his career -- 378 days -- and after splitting with Freddie Roach, the erudite boxing trainer who guided him for 16 years, earlier this year. Roach had suggested that Pacquiao hang up his gloves after losing to Horn.

To crush Matthysse like that after the loss, layoff, split with Roach and at 39 years old only improves Pacquiao's legendary status. What is more remarkable is that Pacquiao spends most of his time now as a senator in the Philippines, juggling his political career with his boxing.

But keep it in perspective

As good as Pacquiao was, Matthysse was disappointing, and the Filipino's triumph does not overturn the fact he is slowing down.

It remains to be seen whether Pacquiao can replicate the same buzzsaw style that terrorised opponents with nonstop aggression pre-2015.

And is it any surprise that Pacquiao should be slowing down at his age after turning professional as a penniless 14-year-old in 1995? He won his first world title at 18 and in recent years has been troubled by a shoulder injury.

If Pacquiao continues to box on and target one of the rival titleholders or top contenders in his next fight, he will be swimming into dangerous waters.

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