Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao defeats Keith Thurman in a split decision to win WBA Super World Welterweight title at 40 years old.
Manny Pacquiao Adds to His Legend
In the first round of this fight, 40-year old Manny Pacquiao knocked Keith Thurman to the ground with a straight right hand.
Before the fight, Thurman had vowed to end Pacquiao’s career. Instead the Filipino legend extended his career by winning the WBA Welterweight title. His 12-round split decision makes him the oldest welterweight champion in history.
The loss was the first of Thurman’s career taking his overall record to 29-1. Getting knocked down so early in the fight clearly affected him although he did recover later on, especially in the 9th round where he appeared to hurt Pacquiao. In the end he simply did not have enough to keep up with the 40-year-old legend and admitted as much after the fight.
“My conditioning and my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s tonight.”-Keith Thurman
At 30-years-old, Thurman will learn from his first loss and did say that this fight was a “lesson”. As for Pacquiao, he says that he plans to continue fighting with whispers of a possible rematch with Floyd Mayweather. It would seem like that ship has sailed due to the fact that Mayweather barely fights at all over the last few years and is currently retired. The motivation for the fight would obviously be monetary with their previous bout generating hundreds of millions of dollars.
With this latest win, Pacquiao’s overall record stands at 62-7-2. The most impressive fact might be the fact that he has now won a belt in eight different weight classes. While the old saying in sports goes “Father time is undefeated”, it appears that Pacquiao is intent on dispelling that notion. He managed to recover from the strong 9th round by Thurman with a fantastic 10th round of his own where he went to work on his opponent with devastating body shots. That being said, how long can Pacquiao keep going?
Pacquiao Needs to Choose his Next Fight Wisely
While his accomplishment of becoming the oldest welterweight champion in history is impressive, Pacquiao’s age is showing in one important way. In his prime, he did not get hit nearly as much as he does lately. If he isn’t careful, one of these young hungry fighters could potentially do some serious damage to the ageing champion. Guys like Errol Spence for example could really do damage to Pacquiao if he’s not careful. That doesn’t mean he should be afraid, it means he should be cautious. At this point in his career, Pacquiao is using his elite boxing IQ and incredible timing to simply outbox his opponents. In defeating Thurman, he has at least shown that he can compete at the highest level. There is a reason Thurman had not been beat in his first 29 fights and was only a slight underdog according to Vegas to the hugely popular Pacquiao.
Post fight, Pacquiao mentioned that he hoped to fight for 2-3 more years. Although it’s hard to imagine him being able to keep this up at 42-43 years old, after tonight, it would also be very difficult to put your money on him not being able to achieve his goal.