Pacquiao beats Thurman, wins WBA welterweight title

Manny Pacquiao attends a post-fight news conference after defeating Keith Thurman in a WBA welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The scores were 113-114, 115-112, and 115-112 in favor of Pacquiao who handed Thurman his first loss.

Thurman had riled Pacquiao in the build-up to the fight by vowing to "crucify" his deeply religious opponent, and later promising to send the Filipino icon into retirement.

"It was fun", Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao, whose speed and stamina belied his age in a highly entertaining fight, is the only man in boxing history to hold world titles in eight different divisions.

Pacquiao continued his dominance in the third and fourth rounds and the Filipino fighter continued to rage before Thurman, after sucking up a heap of Pacquiao offence, came out in the fifth looking to get the fight back on an even keel but many pundits believed the fight was still very much being fought on Pacquiao's terms.

Rounds 8 and 9 were won by Pacquiao as the champ displayed tremendous footwork and unloaded a left hand straight and an uppercut which shook Thurman up.

"I knew it was too close", Thurman said. "The judges saw it their way and congratulations to Manny Pacquiao", said Thurman, who is ten years younger.

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"I'm just blessed tonight, he's not an easy opponent".

Khan later told PA: "The next fight is going to be back in Saudi Arabia, it is going to be in Riyadh this time and it is going to be on November 8".

Manny Pacquiao got back to winning ways earlier this month.

That appeared to stem the tide, as Pacquiao cruised to the finish.

Official statistics showed Pacquiao landed 195 of 686 punches thrown, while Thurman connected with 210 of 571.

Thurman's 192 power shots (anything other than a jab) were the most-landed on Pacquiao in the 43 fights of his that CompuBox has tracked. "My opponent is a good fighter and boxer".

"I felt like I was gonna give him a pressing fight even though he knocked me down; I didn't care about getting in his face", Thurman said.

"Pacquiao's victory is not only his, but of the entire nation. Tonight was a blessing and a lesson", Thurman said. He hopes to be able to earn a rematch against Pacquiao in the future.

  • Lawrence Cooper