Saturday night, July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the veteran Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) defeated the previously unbeaten Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) capturing the WBA title.
Though the bout came down to a split decision victory in favor of Pacquiao, it was pretty clear to see that the 40-year old Pac Man had edged Thurman out.
Pacquiao vs. Thurman was action packed from Round 1 through the entirety of the fight– Pacquiao recorded a knockdown in the opening minutes and both men continued to leave in all in the ring for the remainder of the bout.
This fight will likely be a contender for Fight of the Year in 2019.
Here are three things we learned from Pacquiao vs. Thurman:
1. Manny Pacquiao Has Still Got It
Thurman claimed that he would retire and crucify Manny Pacquiao leading up to Saturday night’s bout but Pacquiao did just as he claimed he would and proved him wrong. Manny Pacquiao looked impressive throughout the 12-round battle with Keith Thurman.
He set the tone in the first round landing a beautiful right hook which sent Thurman to the canvas. Pacquiao never slowed down and his constant forward pressure may have been the deciding factor in his split decision victory for the judges.
24 years after turning pro, it seems as if Manny Pacquiao is just getting started with retirement out of the picture at this point.
Pac Man became the oldest Welterweight in boxing history to claim any of the current recognized titles Saturday night.
2. Manny Pacquiao Will Fight Again in 2020
There have been obvious rumors of Manny Pacquiao nearing retirement– I mean he’s 40 years old, how could there not be? Yet, after a remarkable performance Saturday night, Pacquiao has voiced that he will be back in 2020.
Pacquiao has headed back to the Philippines where he has senator duties to take care of but says he is looking forward to watching the upcoming Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter fight with hopes of taking on the winner.
No one will be surprised that there is also talk of a possible rematch with Floyd Mayweather. Following the fight, Manny stated that he would take the Floyd Mayweather rematch “if he’s willing to fight me.”
Though Mayweather is retired, we all know a big enough pay day would get Money Mayweather back in the ring.
Regardless of who is next for Pacquaio, we learned that he is back and isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
3. Back To The Drawing Board for Keith Thurman
Now that Thurman has been dethroned by a future Hall of Famer and an all-time great there is talk that maybe he isn’t as good as we thought he was. In all honesty, this is ridiculous–Keith Thurman has a solid resume to prove otherwise.
Following the fight on Saturday night, Thurman did admit that after his 22-month layoff due to injury he could have probably used one of two tune up fights after his less than spectacular come back in January. He also gave credit where credit was due and stated that there was no shame in losing to a legend.
Thurman should take some time off (but not too much), reevaluate his training and come back stronger and hungrier. You can’t do anything about injuries but Thurman needs to stay healthy and consistent in the ring.
When Thurman was fighting two to three times a year it seemed as if he was effortlessly outclassing all of his opponents.