pixel 1
header
Friday, October 18, 2019

Boxing

Manny Pacquiao issues statement thanking Keith Thurman, fans

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao proved on Saturday night that he is still capable of holding his own in the ring despite being on the wrong side of 40, and he has issued a statement thanking everyone who gave him a chance to show that.

Pacquiao took to Twitter on Monday to thank his opponent Keith Thurman, his fans, family, and all of the others who helped put the fight together.

Pacquiao won a split decision over Thurman, who was undefeated before Pac-Man beat him. Pacquiao showed he still has much of the speed, movement, and punching activity he became known for throughout his career, and he also landed some pretty big shots on Thurman.

Thurman sent a perfect tweet of his own and had nothing but good things to say about Pacquiao after the fight, so there’s clearly a great deal of mutual respect between the two. The win improved Pac-Man’s record to 62-7-2. Thurman is now 29-1.

Keith Thurman sends perfect tweet after loss to Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman on Saturday night in a split decision, and the previously undefeated Thurman apparently agreed with the two judges who scored in Pac Man’s favor.

Pacquiao won the fight after two judges scored the fight 115-112 in his favor, while Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Thurman. Following the bout, Thurman sent a classy tweet about how his perfect 29-0 record deserved to fall.

Thurman also showed a great deal of class while praising Pacquiao in his post-fight interview.

It’s not uncommon for fighters to complain about how they were robbed after a split decision, so you have to give Thurman credit for the way he handled it. Pacquiao, who is now 40, landed some big shots on Thurman and proved he still has plenty left despite even his own trainer thinking he should retire at one point. Thurman didn’t want to take anything away from him.

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.

Boxing world pays tribute to Pernell Whitaker following death

The sport of boxing lost a legend on Sunday night when Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker was hit by a car and killed, and his death has hit the fighting community hard.

Whitaker, who was 55, was struck and killed in a tragic accident in Virginia Beach. Details of the crash were not released as of Monday afternoon with the investigation ongoing, per the City of Virginia Beach.

Several of boxing’s biggest names took to social media to pay tribute to Whitaker after learning the sad news.

Whitaker held numerous titles during his boxing career and had a 40-4-1 record with 17 knockouts. He was one of the best fighters of the 1990s and one of the best defensive boxers of all time. He made a name for himself similar to the way Floyd Mayweather Jr. did, as he was virtually impossible to hit.

Sweat Pea was truly one of the best to do it.

Watch: Floyd Mayweather embarrassed with crossover at charity basketball game

Floyd Mayweather

Floyd Mayweather Jr has some pretty good skills on the basketball court, but he was on the wrong end of the highlight of the night at a charity game on Monday.

Mayweather’s team went up against a team led by Rob Gronkowski at the second annual Monster Energy $50K Charity Challenge Celebrity Basketball game, which was held at UCLA. Unfortunately for the undefeated boxer, one of the most exciting plays in the game was when he was obliterated by a crossover from professional street baller Larry “Bone Collector” Williams.

They don’t call the man “Bone Collector” for nothing. To his credit, Floyd seemed to take it well. He’s not the first person who has had his ankles broken by Williams, hence the nickname.

We’ve shown you some devastating crossovers throughout the years, but that was easily one of the most ruthless. Mayweather is going to be hearing about that for a while.