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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Manny Pacquiao

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.

Look: Kawhi Leonard attends Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard is a man about town.

The reigning NBA Finals MVP attended Saturday night’s fight card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas that was headlined by the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman bout.

Leonard has been enjoying himself and making public appearances ever since winning the NBA championship with the Toronto Raptors. He attended a Blue Jays game in Toronto. He spent some time on the Vegas scene. He signed with the LA Clippers. And now he’s one of the most recognized celebrities at a boxing match.

Few athletes have raised their profile as much as Kawhi has in the past year. He has catapulted himself into true star status.

Manny Pacquiao thinks he has another five years of fighting left

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao may be turning 41 later this year, but he still doesn’t sound like he is planning to retire any time remotely soon.

In an interview with TMZ Sports prior to his welterweight title bout against Keith Thurman on Saturday, the Filipino fighter said that he thinks he has another five years left in his professional boxing career.

“If you ask me about my body condition, I feel good,” said Pacquiao. “I feel young, like late 20s.”

When pressed on if he thought he would be able to fight until 45, the former eight-division champion replied, “My feeling right now, I can say yes … Body condition, my mind, my focus, the way I work hard. I’m still enjoying my training camp, happy doing it. It’s still there.”

While Pacquiao now has 70 professional fights under his belt over his nearly 25-year career, he still has a lot left in the tank having gone 4-1 in his last five bouts (with the only loss being a suspect decision defeat to Jeff Horn in 2017). He has also reinvented himself as a fighter in his advanced age, relying more on his technical skills rather than primarily on the quickness and punching power that characterized his younger years.

We have seen many a boxer still rack up the titles well into their 40s in recent years (Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, and Roy Jones Jr, to name a few). Pacquiao has flirted heavily with the idea of retirement before, but if Saturday goes well and the body and the heart are still willing, he may have plenty left to offer in the ring.

Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman fight officially set for July 20

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao’s second fight with Premier Boxing Champions has officially been set.

Pacquiao will face Keith Thurman on July 20 on FOX Sports pay-per-view. The announcement was made during Saturday’s fight card on FOX headlined by Jarrett Hurd-Julian Williams.

FOX Sports boxing reporter Mike Coppinger has said the fight is expected to take place in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) holds the WBA welterweight title. Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) holds the super champ version of the WBA welterweight title.

The winner of the Pacquiao-Thurman July fight could end up facing the winner of the August Errol Spence Jr-Shawn Porter fight.

Caleb Plant and Mike Lee will meet in the undercard.

Report: Manny Pacquiao’s Los Angeles home robbed while he was in Las Vegas

Manny Pacquiao may have enjoyed the sweet taste of victory on Saturday night, but his mood was dampened by some bad news.

According to ABS-CBN’s Steve Angeles, Pacquiao’s Los Angeles home was robbed while the fighter was in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao has a home in LA, which is where he often spends time training with Freddie Roach before fights. He was in Los Angeles to train and make media appearances before heading to Las Vegas ahead of his bout with Adrien Broner.

It’s unclear whether the robbery was targeted, but he wouldn’t be the first athlete in Los Angeles to be robbed recently.

Manny Pacquiao not overlooking Adrien Broner for Mayweather

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is not overlooking Adrien Broner despite talks of a rematch with Floyd Mayweather Jr percolating.

Pacquiao is in Los Angeles this week to train and meet with the media ahead of his fight with Broner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Jan. 19. He was asked by a reporter about the drama surrounding Broner ahead of the fight and said he is not focusing on that.

“I’m not taking this fight lightly. I don’t listen to any gossip about Adrien Broner, I just focus on my training,” Pacquiao said. “I want to be in 100 percent condition and ready for the fight on January 19.”

Pacquiao attended Tuesday night’s Clippers home game for Filipino Heritage Night. Mayweather was also there, and the two exchanged pleasantries. That led to a question about a potential fight with Mayweather.

“My plan is to take it one fight at a time. I can’t talk about future fights until I do what I have to on January 19. You can ask me again after this one,” Pacquiao said Thursday.

Prior to his New Year’s Eve exhibition with Tenshin Nasukawa, there was talk that Mayweather would have one fight before a rematch with Pacquiao. That seems to be the direction we’re heading.

Manny Pacquiao says Floyd Mayweather Jr will fight on New Year’s Eve

Floyd Mayweather

Is Floyd Mayweather going to come out of retirement (again) to fight at the end of the year? That’s what Manny Pacquiao says.

Pacquiao recently signed with Mayweather’s advisor Al Haymon and has a fight coming up against Adrien Broner in January. That fight is supposed to be a prelude to a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch.

According to Pacquiao, Floyd will have a tune-up first that will take place on New Year’s Eve.

“Floyd is going to fight on December 31 and I’m going to fight January 12,” Pacquiao said, via The Mirror. “After that, we’ll know [about their rematch]… he’s coming back, we’ll discuss it after Broner.”

If that indeed is the plan, they’re not doing a whole lot of promoting. That supposed fight date for Mayweather is only 2.5 months away. Fighters usually have done media tours by then. Mayweather did say last month that he was going to return this year to fight Pacquiao, but that was about it.

Either Mayweather is simply bored in retirement or he wants more money, because the guy never seems to stick by his retirement announcements.

Mayweather, 40, is 50-0 in his career and last fought in August, defeating Conor McGregor. He and Pacquiao fought in May, 2015, setting a pay-per-view record with 4.6 million buys for a fight that left most fans disappointed and even angry.

Report: Manny Pacquiao signs with promoter Al Haymon

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao is making some major changes to his business team.

Boxing Scene’s Rick Reeno reported on Thursday that Pacquiao has signed with promoter Al Haymon. Haymon is a promoter, also viewed by some as a manager, who is best known for advising Floyd Mayweather Jr. and founding PBC – Premier Boxing Champions.

Pacquiao long had been promoted by Top Rank’s Bob Arum, trained by Freddie Roach, and his business manager was Michael Koncz. He has made major changes by ending his business relationship with all three.

Pacquiao reportedly signing with Haymon could bring him closer to a rematch with Mayweather. Pacquiao has long sought a rematch with Mayweather, saying as much in July. Last month, Mayweather said he and Pacquiao would fight again.

Before getting a rematch with Floyd, Pacquiao may have to win a different fight first.

Spin.ph reports that Pacquiao will likely face Adrien Broner in January in a fight co-promoted by Pacquiao and Mayweather. They say Pacquiao, who beat Lucas Matthysse in July, wants to fight a few more times before potentially retiring.

Pac-Man, 39, is 60-7-2 with 39 wins by knockout.

Showtime boss says Floyd Mayweather is ‘deadly serious’ about Pacquio rematch

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr. recently announced that he is coming out of “retirement” once again for a rematch against Manny Pacquiao, and there is plenty of skepticism over whether the fight will actually happen. That was to be expected, but someone who knows Floyd quite well insists the undefeated champion is not messing around.

Stephen Espinoza, president of programming for Showtime Sports, told TMZ over the weekend that Mayweather is “deadly serious” about fighting Pacquiao again.

“I haven’t spoken to Floyd,” Espinoza admitted. “I know he is deadly serious about it. He is very, very serious about wanting to fight from everything that I’ve seen and heard. Manny Pacquiao is serious about it as well.”

Espinoza said it would be difficult to work out all of the details of the fight before the end of 2018, but he believes the rematch will take place at some point in the near future. He added that he understands why there was skepticism about whether Mayweather was serious because of the way he announced he is planning to fight Pacquiao, but that is simply Floyd’s marketing style.

There had been talk about Mayweather only doing promoting work for Pacquiao’s next fight, but as of now it sounds like he wants a rematch. When you can make the kind of money that Mayweather and Pacquiao would make from fighting again, it’s hard to turn it down.

Floyd Mayweather is officially the Brett Favre of boxing retirements

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr has officially hit Brett Favre status when it comes to retirements.

Mayweather announced on Instagram Saturday morning that he will come out of retirement yet again so that he can fight Manny Pacquiao in a rematch.

A second fight between the men will mark their rematch of a May 2, 2015 bout that left many disappointed. Mayweather won the match convincingly in a unanimous decision. Pacquiao hardly looked like himself and barely threw any punches, which was later attributed to a serious shoulder injury. Fans later sued over the shoulder injury. The fight did 4.6 million pay-per-view buys, which is a record for combat sports, and generated an estimated $400 million in revenue.

Mayweather facing Pacquiao will not only mark their second fight, but Mayweather’s third time coming out of an official retirement, making him similar to Favre, who officially came out of retirement twice, and toyed with the idea of retirement many more times.

Mayweather’s first retirement came after he beat Ricky Hatton on Dec. 8, 2007 to improve to 39-0. Mayweather said at the time that he would concentrate on building his promotional business. He returned to the ring almost two years later on Sept. 19, 2009 and beat Juan Manuel Marquez to go 40-0. Prior to his fight with Hatton, Mayweather openly contemplated retirement because he had just beaten Oscar De La Hoya.

Mayweather retired a second time after beating Andre Berto on Sept. 12, 2015 to improve to 49-0. At that point Mayweather had completed his six-fight contract with Showtime, but there was speculation that he would return for another fight to make his record 50-0.

Mayweather indeed returned two years later to beat Conor McGregor in a one-off boxing match against the UFC champion on Aug. 17, 2017. That made him 50-0. Mayweather retired again after the fight.

If Floyd retires after facing Pacquiao, that would mark his fourth retirement.

So what’s the deal with all the retirements? We have a few thoughts.

One, on a basic level, Mayweather constantly retiring and unretiring could come down to a matter of poor terminology. Maybe if he said he was putting his career on hiatus or taking a sabbatical, that would be more appropriate wording. But the more likely reason for his multiple retirements is negotiating power. By retiring, Mayweather gives himself added leverage in contract negotiations. While retired, he needs to be convinced to make a return. He is the main draw, the big attraction, and he makes himself more scarce and therefore more valuable by saying he is retired. He drives his price up with this tactic.

Mayweather is a businessman — an excellent one at that. He knows what he is doing with his retirements, and he knows that he’ll be making a ton of money every time he comes out of it to fight.