Nearly a quarter-century into his legendary career, Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao isn’t done thrilling fans and winning world titles.
The 40-year-old Pacquiao defeated the unbeaten champion Keith Thurman over 12 all-action rounds on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao wins the WBA title in a thrilling split decision.
The two judges score the fight 115-112 for Pacquiao while the third had it 114-113 for Thurman.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) landed a knockdown punch in the opening round on a beautiful right hook that demonstrated the difference between the two boxers.
The knockdown helped Pacquiao to steal Round 1 and edge out Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) in a fight-of-the-year contender that saw both fighters compete at an insane pace.
Despite the one-sided bad blood between the two boxers, the eight-division world champion, Pacquaio vows to make Thurman pay for saying he would retire and crucify him. Both fighters showed tremendous respect for each other after the fight.
Comments of Manny Pacquiao After the Fight
“I’m not the kind of boxer to be a talker, just promoting the fight,” Pacquiao said. “I think we did a lot of things (to promote the fight). He did his best, and I did my best to make the people happy.”
However, Thurman out-landed Pacquiao in this incredibly close fight by a margin of 210 to 195, according to CompuBox.
But Pacquiao had the sold-out crowd on his side throughout as they exploded with cheers every time he connected a punch.
The people rejoiced in the historic nature of what Pacquiao is still doing 24 years after he turned pro. He became the oldest welterweight in boxing history to claim any of the recognized titles.
“I really loved the fans. Thank you so much for coming here and witnessing the fight, I’m sure you were happy tonight because you see a good fight. Even though Thurman lost, he did his best. He’s not an easy opponent. He’s a good boxer, strong. I think I’m just blessed tonight.”Manny Pacquiao, after his fight with Keith Thurman
Thurman After the Fight
Thurman recovered nicely from a slow start after having difficulty dealing with the explosive speed and power of Pacquiao.
But the mad pace went on to favor the younger fighter as the 30-year-old Thurman fight back on the second half with power shots.
“I knew it was just too close. He got the knockdown, so he had the momentum in Round 1,” Thurman said.
“I want to thank the fans. I want to thank everybody for coming out. This was a beautiful night of boxing. Manny Pacquiao is a great, truly great champion. I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe. I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring. My conditioning, my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao. It was a great night of boxing. I’d love a rematch.”Keith Thurman, after his fight with Manny Pacquiao
Pacquiao will be returning home in the Philippines where he serves as a senator. But he said that he will be back in the ring soon.
He’s not just sure when will that be. However, he is planning to watch the upcoming Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter fight with the hopes of facing the winner in 2020.
Congrats, Manny! You are one of the best boxers in history. We’re sure that all Filipinos are very proud of your achievements!