He did it…40 year old all-time-great ♛🇵🇭Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KO👊) overtakes 🇺🇸Keith “One Time” Thurman’s (29-1-0, 22KO👊) claim as WBA World Champion, and becomes a Welterweight Champion for the 4th time in his career, as well as the oldest man to do so (40 years old), out-dueling the younger man of 10 years via Split Decision verdict with historical implications.
The first round, you could tell that Keith was trying to bomb him out of there, perhaps tipping his own hand and revealing his game plans by stating to the public that he bet on himself to knock Pacquiao out in rounds 1, 2 and 7, so as he pressed the action, Manny proved to be the faster fighter, landing his check right-hooks, left hands and combinations that only he can throw. Manny late in the first round landed a thudding right hand and boom, floored the Champion for what was the second time in Keith’s career.
In an astonishing fold out of events, Manny completely dominated and shut out Keith in the first half of the fight, darting in and out, firing at will, turning and confusing Keith at all costs. Manny’s money punch in the fight especially the first 7 or 8 rounds was the counter right hook that he kept ripping in there through Keith’s defense, and he had no answers for it, and as he had Keith worried about that punch coming in, Pacquiao would give him a different variety of punches to keep him off-balanced and guessing.
Thurman found his groove in the middle rounds, figuring out that fighting as a counter-puncher from distance was a far better tactic, and was seeing a drastic 📈upturn in success, keeping Manny away which limited his ability to land the right hook as he was landing it, and taking away the long left, with Manny’s short reach. Keith landed about 2 or 3 thudding shots in those middle rounds that stunned Pacquiao periodically that brought worry to the Pacquiao contingent, but Manny was able to absorb, endure, and regroup to come back with his own onslaught of combination punching which must have been frustrating for Thurman to see his opponent take his best shots to return the punishment full-fledged. Pacquiao hurt Thurman with a hard left hand to the ribs that had Keith hunched over in a defensive posture and circling hard out the way, and Manny tried to get back in there to inflict more damage and to take Keith out, but he couldn’t get close enough to close the show there.
Down the stretch, Keith asserted himself, trying to make something big happen, and Manny decided to pick and choose his spots to remain responsible defensively, while letting his offense off when there was an opportunity to take. When the final 10 second marker came, that was thrown into the wind, and they both fought relentlessly to the final bell. Manny dominated the fight, but a nervous energy came over the crowd when it was announced as a Split-Decision. Luckily 2 other Judges actually watched the fight, and history was made, with Manny Pacquiao becoming the oldest Welterweight Champion in boxing history.
Manny was not kidding when he said this was the most motivated he been since the ♛🇵🇷Miguel Cotto fight back in 2009, it definitely showed. Keith was graceful and congratulatory in defeat, displaying strong character and showing the real side of Keith, coming out of the villain role that he deliberately used for promotional purposes. Pacquiao is now a 13 time World Champion in 8 different divisions, and looks like a fully rejuvenated fighter, even more-so than his last few outings against fighters like Jessie Vargas, Adrien Broner, Lucas Matthysse, and Tim Bradley. Him at the age of 40 is a secondary notion due to his instinctual reflexes, discipline, as well as him being in peak physical condition, aiding him to maintain his footwork and ability to throw combinations with the best of them still even at this stage of his career…you can in a sense consider him to be the “geriatric wonder in the boxing pantheon”. A win of this magnitude considering his age, and him still remaining relevant a few months prior to 2020, after being named Fighter of the Decade from 🗓️2000-2009 is a strong indicator of where he stands in historical sense as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport of boxing. The legend continues…
OFFICIAL SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Glen Feldman = 114-113 for KEITH THURMAN
✎ Dave Moretti = 115 – 112 for MANNY PACQUIAO
✎ Tim Cheatham = 115 – 112 for MANNY PACQUIAO
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS ✎🗒️
✎ Tré Berry = 116-111 for MANNY PACQUIAO
✎ Jon Uddin = 117-110 for MANNY PACQUIAO