It just doesn’t make any sense at this point. When a person gets older it does not signify the end. Wisdom, decision making and self confidence are attributes that seem to get better the older we become.
Fighting, is not one of them.
40-year-old Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), won a split decision over Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) this past Saturday night, July 20, 2019 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thurman, who is 10 years younger than Pac Man, had all of the confidence in the world entering the fight.
Why shouldn’t he have? He was much younger, extremely skilled and possessed one of the best resumes in the Welterweight division. The only problem was, he was facing a man with the best resume in all of boxing.
Thurman looked good in the opening round. Pushing Pac Man back and landing some big shots. But then it happened.
Pacquiao landed a shot to the gut and another upstairs and down went Thurman. A big smile went across the face of Thurman as if to say, this old man still got it.
Over the course of 12 rounds, Pacquiao went on to prove that he does indeed still have it.
What exactly is it?
Power, speed and defensive responsibility. They were all on display Saturday night.
This contest was by no means a whitewash. Thurman had plenty of good moments. The second half of the fight is one in which he was really able to punish Pacquiao, but of course the veteran future hall of famer wouldn’t let his younger opponent take the momentum away.
The 10th round saw Pac Man land a great body shot. From there, it seemed as though Thurman pulled out a bicycle seemingly from underneath the ring, as he was backpedaling the rest of the round.
It was a great performance, but one that just doesn’t make sense. Now retired former multiple-weight champion Bernard Hopkins fought well into his 40s. He looked good too.
Still, no matter how dominant he looked at his advanced age, it was clear that he had lost a few steps and used his mental abilities more so than his physical ones to best his opponent. With Pacquiao, it looks like he is not eroding in any form physically.
There was a star-studded line up of people from all professions watching these two fighters throw down. Every single one of them left impressed with Pacquiao, but it was the comments left by former two-division champion Danny Garcia which rang true the most.
“He’s beating a whole new generation of Welterweights,” said Garcia. “It’s ridiculous.”
Truer words have never been spoken.
Pacquiao was always considered one of the very best of his era. Several years later, he is still considered near the top of the list. Even at 40 years of age, there seems to be no end in sight.