Saturday night saw Manny Pacquiao become the new WBA “super” welterweight champion with a split-decision victory over the previously undefeated Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Pacquiao, who is 40, became the oldest welterweight champion in history.
Pacquiao vs. Thurman – Fight Recap
The fight started out with each fighter throwing some ‘range finding’ shots as both were trying to settle in. There was decent action in the first round, with Thurman (30) landing a solid right hand near the end of the round that sent Pacquiao to the ropes. Pacquiao would reply back with a left hand to the body and right hand upstairs which sent the champion Thurman to the canvas.
Shortly after the knockdown, the first round ended. Pacquiao took control from there, winning almost all of the first five rounds with his punch output and angles causing problems for the younger man. The second half of the fight was more competitive, as Thurman began landing his right hand often with power behind it.
In the middle of Round 10, Pacquiao would land a hard left hand to the body that visibly hurt Thurman, forcing him to retreat and eventually hold. Once again, “One Time” would survive the round and fight on. The remainder of the fight was back-and-forth, with the final round seeing both fighters finish out strong. The judges were split on who won the fight, with scores of 115-112 (x2) for Manny Pacquiao and 114-113 for Keith Thurman, resulting in a victory for the future Hall of Famer.
I scored the fight 115-112 for Manny Pacquiao. The fight was close, but Pacquiao’s punches were just a little bit more effective. The 40-year-old showed his age in the fight at times, but overall he put on a great performance against an undefeated, proven, bigger, and much younger champion. I picked Thurman to win by decision, but I am not shocked at all at the outcome of the fight. A legend proved that he is just on a different level tonight. Keith Thurman fought very well and showed heart, but he did not do enough early on to pull off the victory.
After the fight, Pacquiao, who improved to 62-7-2, said that he has to go back to work as a senator in the Philippines, but he expects to fight once more in 2020. The new champion also stated that he will definitely be watching IBF welterweight champ Errol Spence Jr. and WBC champ Shawn Porter go at it in September.
Other Notable Fight Results
- Caleb Plant TKO3 Mike Lee
- Dillian Whyte UD12 Oscar Rivas
- Luis Nery KO9 Juan Carlos Payano
- Yordenis Ugas UD12 Omar Figueroa Jr.
- Dereck Chisora KO3 Artur Szpilka
- David Price RTD10 Dave Allen
- Teofimo Lopez UD12 Masayoshi Nakatani (Friday)
Honestly, I do not want to see a 41-year-old Manny Pacquiao in the ring with a fighter like Errol Spence Jr. (who I predict should defeat Porter). Spence has shown very few weaknesses to this point in his career and Pacquiao is clearly not as sharp as he used to be. Couple that with the significant size advantage that the undefeated Spence would have over Pacquiao, and the fight is simply a mismatch at this point. The winner of Mikey Garcia vs. Danny Garcia (which looks like it will happen) makes more sense in my opinion, or even a money-fight with a fighter like Amir Khan.
Who did you have winning this fight? Who would you like Manny Pacquiao to fight next? Comment below with your opinion.