40-year-old Manny Pacquiao produces stunning display to dominate Keith Thurman
40-year-old senator Manny Pacquiao produced a scintillating performance to defeat Keith Thurman, which recalled the lightning fast eight-weight world champion at the peak of his powers.
'Pacman' dropped Thurman with a textbook combination of shots late in the first round, and though the previously undefeated American recovered well in the middle rounds - testing Pacquiao's chin with some stinging shots of his own - the 40-year-old fighter proved the more energetic rounds 8 through 10, and more than justified his split-decision victory.
Two of the judges scored the fight 115-112 in favour of Pacquiao, while one saw it 114-113 for Thurman.
"I knew it was too close," Thurman said after the bout, "he got the knockdown so he had momentum in round one.
"I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe. My conditioning, my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s tonight. Tonight was a blessing and a lesson.”
This was the 71st fight in Manny Pacquiao's storied career - it has been nearly 25 years since he stepped onto the scales for his pro debut at age 16. After the fight he told reporters he was still having fun in the ring even after all these years;
“It was fun.
“My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong. ... I think he did his best, and I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight.”
Thurman called for a rematch in the aftermath of the bout, though many - including Pacquiao's long-time trainer Freddie Roach - are keen for the 40-year-old to run it back with Floyd Mayweather Jr., who was ring side to watch the two square off last night.
Though Mayweather is retired, it remains to be seen whether 'Money' can really resist the promise of what would surely be one of the richest bouts in boxing history, particularly after how good Manny Pacquiao looked last night.