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Pacquiao Banks on Explosive Start to Beat Thurman Via Split Decision!
By Reylan Loberternos
Sun, 21 Jul 2019
Philippine National Bank, Boracay Island, Philippines – The living legend and fighting pride of the Philippines, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs) eked out a split decision victory over erstwhile undefeated champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1-0, 22KOs), Saturday night (Sunday morning Manila Time) at the jam-packed MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada for the latter’s WBA Welterweight Champion belt.
Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham had an identical 115-112 on their respective scorecards for the fighting senator, while judge Glenn Feldman had it 114-113 for Thurman. Yours truly scored the bout a close 114-113 for Pacquiao.
Pacquiao dominated the first half of the bout, jumpstarted by a quick combination of left-straight-to-the-body followed by a left-cross-to the-chin that put Thurman flat on his back for the fight’s only scored knockdown. His defense was also topnotch during this stretch, as he caught most of Thurman’s punches with his gloves, while putting his opponent on awkward angles.
All judges scored the first 5 rounds for Pacquiao, except the 3rd round when judges Dave Moretti and Glenn Feldman gave it to Thurman.
Thurman found his second wind and came back strong in the middle rounds, catching the visibly gassed out and flatfooted Pacquiao on several occasions with right straights and hooks to the side of the head.
The former undefeated champion earned the unanimous nod of all judges in rounds 6, 7, 9 and 11 when he controlled the pace of those rounds with clean combinations and crisp jabs, keeping Pacquiao at bay.
Pacquiao caught a huge break in the 10th round when he connected with a left hook to the body that halted Thurman’s aggression and then seemed right for the picking. The Pinoy pride, however, was not able to capitalize on that, as he was also visibly losing steam. That was enough for him, though, as he got the unanimous vote of all the judges who all awarded him that round.
Punch stats had Pacquiao connect on only 195 punches to Thurman’s 210. However, the more telling and effective blows were administered by the eventual champion.
The fighting pride of Saranggani Province in the Philippines has once again added to his lore, even at 40 years old. He is the only 8-division champion in the sport’s rich history. He has obviously lost some speed and quickness, but he has once again shown that he still has what it takes to become a champion.
But if the second half of that bout was to be used as basis, Pacquiao and his team need to look a little bit closer and deeper before planning their next course of action. Father Time has apparently caught up on him. The Pacquiao of old would have knocked Thurman out in the middle rounds. This version of Pacquiao, however, almost lost it on the scorecards. He failed to finish Thurman in the 10th round when the pride of Clearwater, Florida was visibly hurt.
But make no mistake about it… this was a huge win for Pacquiao, and should line him up for yet another huge payday. The only question now is… will this be the last victory of his legendary career? Only time can tell.
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