Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman RESULT: 40-year-old ‘Pac Man’ rolls back the years to win thriller on poi
Manny Pacquiao turned back time and produced a vintage, scintillating performance to beat Keith Thurman on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The 40-year-old Filipino senator claimed the WBA ‘super’ welterweight title with a split decision victory, though the fact one judge scored the bout to his opponent is hard to comprehend.
Pacquiao and Thurman battled in a sensational ‘Fight of the Year’ contender
The fight started dramatically with both men exchanging wildly from the opening bell.
Thurman appeared to be getting slightly the better of these exchanges, but was then floored in the final 30 seconds of the first by a menacing straight right hand from Pacquiao.
In the second, ‘Pac Man’ blitzed ‘One Time’ with several lightning-fast combinations as he appeared to roll back the years, performing an ‘Ali shuffle’ at the end of the round to taunt his bemused younger opponent
This theme continued into the third as Pacquiao repeatedly buzzed Thurman, who struggled to find a foothold in the contest.
Pacquiao downed Thurman at the end of the first
As he went out for the fourth, the American was left in no doubt by his corner, “We need this round.”
While he attempted to deliver and upped his tempo, he was still comprehensively outlanded by the astonishingly aggressive Filipino.
In the fifth, momentum suddenly shifted as Thurman took control by catching Pacquiao’s attention with multiple right hooks.
However, by the end of the round, the 40-year-old regained the emphasis and battered his 30-year-old foe around the ring, leaving him with a severely bloodied nose.
The sixth was a quieter session, much to the relief of Thurman, who had more success and perhaps won his first session of the contest.
He built on this success in the seventh, landing several significant single shots while his foe remained less active.
Normal service soon resumed though, as Manny was back to pummelling in the eighth before another quieter period in ninth.
Entering the championship rounds, Pacquiao was still clearly ahead and put on a big showing to add to this as he staggered Thurman with a liver shot and chased him around the ring once again, as he’d done in the early rounds.
The American survived by the skin of his teeth and nailed the Filipino with some solid shots in the eleventh, but was still in need of a KO heading into the final three minutes.
This never came and instead it was Pacquiao who finished stronger in a thrilling fight, winning by scores of 114-113 Thurman, 115-112 Pacquiao and 115-112 Pacquiao.
In his post-fight interview, Manny paid tribute to Keith, saying: “He’s not an easy opponent, he’s a good boxer.
“I did my best to make the people happy.
“I’m sure you’re happy tonight because you see a good fight.
“I think my next fight will probably be next year.”
Pacquiao is now a top welterweight world champion once again
Thurman repaid the favour and replied: “I knew it was too close. He got the knockdown so he had momentum in round one.
“Manny Pacquiao’s a truly, great champion.
“I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe-to-toe.
“It was a great night of boxing, I’d love the rematch.”
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Earlier in the night, Caleb Plant knocked out Mike Lee to defend his IBF super-middleweight title.
Also on the undercard, Yordenis Ugas, Sergey Lipinets and Luis Nery picked up wins.
You can catch WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in the flesh at the famous ICC Arena in Birmingham on July 27 at the marquee event of his UK tour with Showfighter and Gold Star. talkSPORT will be in attendance so click HERE or more information on the event and get your tickets HERE.