Who says at the age of 40, that you can’t compete with the young guns anymore?
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) pulled off what many expected he couldn’t. Coming into his contest against Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) many believed that Pacquiao was biting off more than he could chew.
It was understandable, he was after all stepping into the ring with a fighter who is 10 years younger than him and in the prime of his career. It wasn’t just the youth that Thurman had on his side, but also the physical advantages as well.
None of it mattered.
Leading up to this contest, Thurman went on the record by saying that he was going to come straight after Pacquiao from the opening bell. That strategy proved to be his downfall.
Pacman fought fire with fire as he came out guns blazing. Thurman, who had never tasted the canvas at any point in his career, went down after Pacquiao landed a shot to the body and followed it up with a right hand upstairs.
Thurman hit the deck and seemed to be in serious trouble. Still, he got through the round but continued to have issues with the timing of Pacquiao along with his speed.
For long stretches of the first half of the fight, it was dominated by Pacman. Thurman did manage to turn things around a bit in the second half. Straight right hands and overhand lefts started to make things interesting.
Just when Thurman seemed to have grabbed the momentum, Pacquiao grabbed it right back. In the 10th round, Thurman was hurt with a body shot which sent him reeling. Yet again he made it out of the round alive.
The final two rounds were a nip-and-tuck affair. Both men continued to through hard shots until the final bell. When it was announced that the judges had come up with a split decision it was some what shocking.
The final scores for the contest were 114-113 for Thurman, and 115-112 twice for Pacquiao. With the victory, Pacquiao now possesses the WBA Welterweight title–a feat he had never accomplished in his entire career.
It’s clear that Pacman has more than enough left in the tank left to defeat anyone in the division–including Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
As for the trash talk that took place during the build up to the fight, Pacquiao took no offense to it and understood that it was all a part of the game.
“I’m not that kind of boxer who talks a lot; we were just promoting the fight,” said Pacquiao. “I think he did his best, and I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight.”
As for what could be possibly next on the agenda for Pacquiao, he made it clear that he has his eyes on a particular matchup.
“I hope to be at that [Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter] fight on September 28,” said Pacquiao
While Pacquiao has big plans in his future, Thurman on the other hand has to regroup. For a fighter that has just lost his coveted 0 in the loss column, Thurman seemed to take everything in stride.
“You get blessings and lessons. Tonight was a blessing and a lesson,” said Thurman. “Thank you everybody, and thank you Manny Pacquiao.”