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‘I’m not done yet,’ says Pacquiao

KUALA LUMPUR – Manny Pac­quiao swore Sunday that he feels young again.

After battering Lucas Matthys­se of Argentina to win the World Boxing Association (WBA) welter­weight crown, Pacquiao expressed his desire to defend the title against some of the 147-lb divi­sion’s biggest names.

A second meeting with Floyd Mayweather was also mentioned as an option but Pacquiao is look­ing at certain names and would only entertain rematch talks if Mayweather comes out of retire­ment.

The first name that came out of Pacquiao’s mouth was former sta­blemate Amir Khan of England fol­lowed by Terence Crawford of the US and then Ukrainian lightweight ruler Vasyl Lomachenko.

“I am going to defend the title because I love boxing. I think I am addicted to boxing. I love bringing honor not only to me and family but for our country,” he said.

Displaying moves that he ex­hibited when he was still trying to make a name for himself in the global stage, Pacquiao said he feels being born again, stressing that he “feels like I am 27 years old.”

“I am not done yet,” answered Pacquiao to negate claims that he is riding into the sunset.

Against Matthysse, who was making the first defense of the title he had won last January in Los Angeles, Pacquiao showcased vintage moves but his power – the only thing that remains even after a fighter’s heyday is over – was the decider.

What looked like an ordinary right-left combo sent Matthysse crashing to the floor in the third round and the same thing hap­pened in the fifth when a series of rights to Matthysse’s side of the head had him dropping to one knee.

The second knockdown was a delayed reaction and it was evi­dent that Pacquiao still packed dy­namites on both hands, given that a knockdown resulting in a delayed reaction is a lot more devastating than the usual.

The seventh round knockdown, the third flooring, had Matthysse taking a knee again after tasting a left uppercut.

Bayless, refereeing his close to 200th world title fight, called it off immediately even after picking up the count, knowing that it would be foolish to allow the outgunned Matthysse receive more punish­ment.

From what Pacquiao showed against Matthysse, it certainly didn’t look like he was pushing 40 and definitely not a fellow who is over-the-hill. (Nick Giongco)