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(Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

Boxing

40-year-old Manny Pacquiao impresses with split decision win over Keith Thurman

Adding more gold to his collection, Pacquiao continues to show just how great he is.

There were doubts heading into the bout between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman. Doubts whether the 40-year-old Pacquiao could keep up with the younger Thurman and doubts if the latter would be able to put on a good fight. After all, Thurman was rusty against Joesito Lopez following a 22-month layoff due to injuries.

In one night, both fighters proved their doubters wrong.

Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2) defeated Thurman (29-1, 1NC) to win the latter’s WBA Super Welterweight Title. Inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Pacquiao turned back the clock and beat the 30-year-old via split decision (113-114, 115-112, 115-112). Double G Sports gave Pacquiao a 115-113 advantage. He is now the only eight-division world champion in boxing history. While Thurman out-landed Pacquiao (210-571 Thurman, 195-686 Pacquaio), it wasn’t enough to get him the win and remain undefeated.

“I’m not the kind of boxer to be a talker, just promoting the fight,” stated Pacquiao after the fight. “I think we did a lot off things to promote the fight. He did his best, and I did my best to make the people happy.”

For five rounds, it looked like we were seeing the Pacquaio of old. In the first round, the Senator of the Philippines knocked “One Time” down to the canvas. The latter got hit with a move he stated he would take Pacquiao out with. For the next few rounds, it was a clinic by Pacquiao. Combination rights were the name of the game, and the former WBO Welterweight Champion was countering everything Thurman gave him. While he had Pacquiao against the ropes, Thurman could not take advantage.

While his nose was busted open, Thurman managed to take advantage of a tired Pacquaio following round five. Frustrating Pacquiao in round seven, Thurman was able to storm back and make the fight somewhat competitive. Trading rounds, Thurman was starting to feel looser. His decree that he was ready for Pacquiao following his layoff was not a fallacy.

Unfortunately for Thurman, round ten was where Pacquiao regained any momentum he may have lost. A liver shot froze Thurman, giving Manny the advantage he needed to walk around Thurman.

Having a hard time recovering following that shot, Thurman was in deep trouble. He was able to continue on, however. Thurman needed a knockout to win but was able to close out the fight on a positive note. He seemingly won the 12th and final round, using key lefts and jabs to his advantage. In the end, Pacquiao had his hand raised for the 62nd time.

Even with all the talk about retiring Manny, Thurman was as humble as ever in defeat. You could really call him the anti-Adrien Broner.

“I knew it was just too close. He got the knockdown so he had momentum in round one,” Thurman went on to say. “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. My conditioning, my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao. It was a great night of boxing. I’d love a rematch.”

What is next for both fighters? For Manny, he is hoping to fight next year, as his work in the Philippines will take a lot of his time. There is an opportunity for a rematch down the line if both fighters are available.

Did Thurman lose any stock as a result of the loss? Absolutely not. In fact, it may have raised it. As good as a performance as you’ll get from Thurman, he proved he is still a force to be reckoned with. It also proved he is just warming up.

Saturday, July 20, 2019 will be known as the time two incredible fighters shocked the boxing world. Managing to exceed expectations, Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman proved that age is indeed just a number.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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