“He’s not an easy opponent… he’s strong, and he’s heavy-handed. I was just blessed (with the victory) tonight.” -Manny Pacquiao, following his thrilling victory over Keith Thurman
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Las Vegas, NV – Proving that ol’ Father Time has yet to beat him, Manny Pacquiao edged Keith Thurman by a disputed split decision victory in a thrilling bout for the WBA “Super” Welterweight title. The only eight-division champion in the history of the sport, Pacquiao wasted little time in catching his rhythm and dropping the previously undefeated Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) hard in the opening round with a perfectly placed right hook. For the second fight in a row, Thurman showed tremendous grit, in-ring intelligence and the heart of a true champion in enduring the adversity of the buzzsaw in front of him and a 10-8 opening round deficit due to the knockdown in turning the tide and momentum of the fight during the middle rounds, eventually even being awarded the fight on one judge’s scorecard.
With the win, the 40-year-old Pacquiao not only won a thrilling fight in impressive fashion, improving to 62-7-2, with 39 KOs in the process, but he also secured a portion of the welterweight championship pie for a second time (becoming the oldest fighter to ever hold a piece of the crown), AND likely extended his career for another 3-4 years (if not longer)…. and, most significantly, put the rest of a very stacked talent-laden welterweight division on notice that even at an advanced age, he is still a legitimate force to be reckoned with.
Photo courtesy of Stephanie Trapp / Showtime Sports
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