Ideally, an athlete in a combative sport like boxing would, as he grows older and loses the physical prowess of his youth, would in turn acquire skill and insight from his many battles that would optimally give him the edge over younger opponents. Senator and active boxer Manny Pacquiao is certainly a highly skilled veteran, as evidenced by his current lifetime achievement of eight world division titles. At 40 years and nearly a quarter-century of boxing he must have seen it all. But he goes the extra mile by drawing the will and strength to fight like he was half his current age. His latest foe, Keith Thurman, thought so.
The “Welterweight Supremacy” boxing match between Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao last Sunday, July 21, ended pretty much as how any Filipino follower of the Pambansang Kamao would expect it, as told by CBS Sports. The American had been blowing his mouth off in pre-fight promotions how he would be the one boxer that will finally convince Pacquiao to retire, wagering his WBA Super Welterweight title on that outcome. Needless to say, when Manny sent him to the floor right out of the first round, Thurman realized he would have to possibly go the distance against Pacquiao; and they did.
Following twelve rounds of boxing, in which the Filipino Pride hammered body shots into his American opponent at every opportunity, while Thurman fought back with his own barrage of punches and the determination to bounce back from the pounding punishment, the fight went to the scorecards. With two 115-112 judges for Manny and a 113-114 for Thurman, the Filipino was declared winner by split decision. With this, the formerly undefeated American now has a 29-1 win-loss record, while Pacquiao is now up to 62-7-2. Some fans however, believe the score should be unanimous for Manny.
In the post-fight conference, Keith Thurman owned up that he was completely taken by surprise at the sheer amount of energy that Manny Pacquiao, a decade older than him, was able to bring to the ring. He also mentioned that he felt he was put in pursuit of the boxing legend right from his first-round knockdown. “He had a lot of momentum from that point,” noted the American, who attributed Pacquiao’s 24-year fight experience for his being able “to know what to do at the right time.” As customary now for Manny’s opponents, he was quick to request a rematch.
Pacquiao also had his post-fight routine down pat, thanking the fans for his support and expressing an interest in one more fight in the future. He plans return to his Senatorial duties for now, but also states that he would look into arranging a match in the winner of the upcoming fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter, sometime next year. At this point even Manny is resigned to the fact that no rematch will happen between him and the retired Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Image courtesy of Philippine Star