Manny Pacquiao won the World Boxing Association super welterweight championship after beating undefeated Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (Philippine Time).
A first-round knockdown made the difference as the 40-year-old Pacquiao prevailed over the 30-year-old Thurman via split decision.
Thurman seemed to be in control for most of Round 1 until Pacquiao unleashed a 1-2 combo that sent the taller American fighter down late in the round.
Pacquiao maintained the momentum until Round 5 when he bloodied Thurman’s nose.
However, Thurman showed heart the rest of the way and kept the bout close, although Pacquiao almost knocked him down in Round 10 after a huge power punch to his torso.
Glenn Feldman was impressed with Thurman’s gallant stand and had him leading, 114-113, in his scorecard.
However, Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham both had it 115-112 for Pacquiao, who essentially won his 13th world title overall.
Pacquiao scored his 61st win against seven defeats and two draws.
The Pac-man joins George Foreman as the second 40+-year-old boxer to win a championship belt.
@SportingIndex tweeted that Pacquiao has “won a World title in his teens, twenties, thirties and fourties (forties). Pac-man never gets old…”
Manny Pacquiao’s win over Keith Thurman means he has now won a World title at eight different weights 🤯— Sporting Index (@sportingindex) July 21, 2019
He has also now won a World title in his teens, twenties, thirties and fourties 👑
Pac-man never gets old…#PacquiaoThurman pic.twitter.com/iXWNtMrnaS
Thurman magnanimous in defeat
The trash-talking Thurman accepted his first defeat to Pacquiao who is 10 years older.
In his tweet, online boxing editor for talkSPORT.com @MichaelBensonn said that “Keith Thurman may not always endear himself to everybody outside of the ring, but usually delivers entertainment when he’s in there. Class act after suffering his first defeat to Manny Pacquiao, still plenty of great fights out there for him.”
👌 Keith Thurman may not always endear himself to everybody outside of the ring, but usually delivers entertainment when he’s in there. Class act after suffering his first defeat to Manny Pacquiao, still plenty of great fights out there for him. pic.twitter.com/2BxDY6Tehn— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) July 21, 2019
Thurman, who has been world champion since 2013, held a perfect 29-0 record with 22 knockouts until he suffered his first defeat from Pacquiao.
According to boxing analyst Atty Ed Tolentino, now is the time for Pacquiao to hang up his gloves. For him, Pacquiao doesn’t have to prove anything anymore. The same opinion is shared by many boxing analysts.
However, Pacquiao says he has no plans to retire.
Regarded as an octuple champion, Pacquiao is the only boxer to win thirteen major world titles in eight different weight divisions.
Sources: YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, Ivan Stewart Saldajeno/PNA