Manny Pacquiao silenced all critics and any lingering questions this past Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas giving fight fans a sensational turn back the clock performance against WBA “Super” Champ Keith Thurman. The 40-year-old Pacquiao not only captured the “Super” title and our Fighter Of The Week award, but he also sent a message to the entire welterweight division that his time is not over just yet. The Filipino legend has now put himself in position to score yet another mega-fight in early 2020 against the winner of the Spence/Porter unification fight that is set to take place in September.
Pacquiao came out red hot, bringing intense pressure and scoring a first-round knockdown of Thurman. It was just the second time One-Time was ever sent to the canvas. Pac Man stayed on the attack dominating the first five rounds with precise power shots that hurt his younger opponent and stopped him dead inn his tracks. Combined with the relentless punch output of old. The type of punchout put that made Pacquiao an eight-division world champ and legend in the sport. A rugged Keith Thurman fought his way back into the fight during the middle rounds and began to walk the older fighter down with left hooks and right hand that seemed to be taking a toll on the legend. In appeared that Pacquiao had begun to slow In the 10th round as Thurman was putting together yet another solid round and tightening up the scorecards, Pacquiao caught his American opponent with a vicious body shot that froze him momentarily and allowed Pac to unleash a whirlwind of power shots on his hurt opponent. The bell rang to end the 10th and save the American champion, but the momentum had shifted back in favor of the Filipino fighter and would stay in his favor the remainder of the fight. Giving Pacquiao a split decision victory by scores of 115-112 twice and 114-113 in favor of Thurman. Despite being 10-years- older Pacquiao outworked the younger champ out throwing him 686-571 as well as winning the one-sided battle of the jabs 82-18.
Pacquiao continues to cement his legacy as one of the greatest boxers of all time. Adding another world champion and another title to his illustrious resume. More importantly, this fight combined with the Spence vs Porter unification bout which will unify the IBF & WBC straps in September will likely bring some clarity to the hectic welterweight division. Pacquiao will likely face the winner of the other unification bout in early in 2020 which could likely lead to the winner of that facing WBO champion Terence “Bud” Crawford by the end of 2020 giving us complete clarity and an undisputed 147-pound champ. If that plan doesn’t come to fruition a rematch with Thurman would be of interest given the competitive nature of the first fight. A showdown with former four-division world champ Mikey Garcia also seems like a possibility as both fighters have expressed interest in a potential showdown previously.