Manny Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman by split-decision as Filipino legend rolls back the years

Manny Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman by split-decision as Filipino legend rolls back the years


MANNY PACQUIAO put in a throwback performance to edge out Keith Thurman for the WBA welterweight world title.

Dressed in the same red Cleto Reyes gloves and white shorts worn when PacMan dismantled Ricky Hatton and Antonio Margarito ten years ago – the 40-year-old really turned back the clock in Las Vegas.

Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman to claim the WBA welterweight title
AP:Associated Press
Thurman was beaten via split-decision in Las Vegas
EPA

Flooring Thurman in round one with a right hook as his American opponent tracked back, Pacquiao was made to work throughout, eventually stealing a split-decision win.

After the fight, the new WBA welterweight champion said: “It was fun. I’m getting hard it’s not easy opponents he’s a good fighter, a good boxer, he’s strong.

“He did his best, I did my best, we made the people happy.

“I really love the fans thank you so much for coming here and witnessing the fight, I’m sure you’re happy tonight, you saw a great fight.

“I am just blessed tonight.”

Pacquiao floored Thurman with a right-hook in round one
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It was the first time welterweight Thurman had been on the canvas
AP:Associated Press
Thurman had got off to a good start in the opening session before being floored
AP:Associated Press

Thurman, who bet three times on himself before the fight – to win in round one, two or seven – made a bright start to the opening stanza.

But the champion tem years Pacquiao’s junior was made to look like a novice as he moved back with his hands down, only to be outfoxed by PacMan who decked the champion with a swift right hook.

The Filipino senator then took control between rounds two and four, backing up his man to the ropes and unleashing blistering combinations in vintage style.

Pacquiao’s trademark footwork was the difference in the early stages, as he hopped in and out of punching range, though Thurman, bleeding from the nose, soon began to use his size advantage.

Between the mid rounds the American began to find home with his right hand and caused PacMan to halt when the left hook followed.

In round nine, sensing his early work was beginning to be overwritten, Pacquiao stepped up his product and began pinging out the southpaw jab right, with the left hook busting Thurman’s nose.

After the knockdown PacMan had the best of the early rounds
AP:Associated Press
As the contest went into the middle stages Thurman began to find his stride
AP:Associated Press

For the first time since the opening round the champion was hurt by a shot, as right hook to the body caused the champion to wince in pain during round ten.

Tottering back the 30-year-old managed to remain upright, though he spat out his gum shield in a desperate bid to gasp air as the pendulum swung back in PacMan’s favour.

Veteran Pacquiao went straight back to the body of Thurman in round 11, who was still hurt from the previous session and unable to keep up with the pace until the end of the stanza.

A huge right hand from the champion had PacMan’s head rocking back, as judges began to sweat over the back-and-forth, too-close-to-call action.

Pacquiao, possibly under the instructions of legendary trainer Freddie Roach – who lumped £5,000 on his man to win – boxed cautiously in the 12th and final round.

Fearing his unbeaten record was about to shatter, Thurman forced the action landing with a big looping right hand.

PacMan, who returned to the US this year beating Adrien Broner, did not leave his fans disappointed as he traded with his younger opponent down the stretch, as the fight went the distance.

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Thurman was hurt with a body shot in round 10[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Pacquiao caused the nose of Thurman to bleed with a savage left-hook[/caption]


Thurman was given a 114-113 verdict by one judge, but two scorecards of 115-112 meant Pacquiao won his 24th world title fight – in front of old pal Floyd Mayweather.

The Filipino icon dashed any talks of a Saudi Arabia scrap with Amir Khan in November, revealing he will have the rest of the year off.

Pacquiao said: “I think next fight, my next fight is next year I think. After this fight I am going back to Philippians to do some work.”

Floyd Mayweather, acting as promoter, was ringside to watch Pacquiao’s win
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The pair exchanged with a hug after the fight was over in Sin City
AP:Associated Press

Getty Images – Getty

PacMan dashed any talks of a Saudi Arabia scrap with Amir Khan in November, revealing he will have the rest of the year off[/caption]

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