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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Manny Pacquiao wins split decision over Keith Thurman

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao proved that he can continue to win despite his age as he beat Keith Thurman in a split decision on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Pac-Man received the nod after two judges scored the fight 115-112 in his favor. Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Thurman. The two judges who scored the fight for Pacquiao had him winning seven rounds to five. That would ordinarily result in a 115-113 score, but Thurman was deducted a point for being knocked down in the first round. Feldman had it seven rounds to five for Thurman, minus the point deduction for the knockdown.

Even at the age of 40, Pacquiao showcased some of the speed, movement, and punching activity he became known for throughout his career. He caught Thurman in the face with a stiff right hand towards the end of the first round that dropped Thurman to the canvas. The punched that knocked Thurman down came after a big body shot. The Filipino did more damage with a body shot later in the fight.

Pacquiao seemed to hurt Thurman in the 10th with a big shot to the body:

Pacquiao was active throughout the fight and threw nearly 100 more punches than Thurman, according to FOX’s post-fight statistics. FOX did have Thurman landing more punches.

Pac-Man improves 62-7-2 (39 KOs) in his career and captured the WBA super welterweight championship belt. He has won three straight fights since a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn in 2017. Each of Pacquiao’s last two wins have come via decision.

The loss marked the first of Thurman’s career. The 30-year-old was 29-0 entering the fight.

The victory is highly significant for Pacquiao. Some detractors said in 2012 that Pacquiao had lost his best ability following consecutive defeats to Timothy Bradley Jr. and Juan Manuel Marquez, the latter coming in a brutal knockout. Pacquiao lost two more times after that, falling to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in one of the most disappointing fights of the decade, and later to Horn. Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, even said in 2017 he was thinking of telling Pacquiao to retire. But the Filipino fighter has been defiant, insisting he has several good years of fighting left. Being able to defeat an opponent in his prime the way Pacquiao did shows he is still very much a contender at the 147 pound weight limit.



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