SPLIT DECISION: Pacquiao quells Thurman, defies Father Time at 40

MANNY Pacquiao (white trunks) and Keith Thurman (red/white/blue trunks) box during their WBA welterweight championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena. (Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters)

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

MANNY “Pacman” Pacquiao defeated Keith “One Time” Thurman via split decision victory in a back-and-forth slugfest to snatch the WBA Welterweight title on July 21,2019 (PHL time), at MGM Grand Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada.

With 19 seconds left in the opening round, Pacquiao caught Thurman with a beautiful body shot and a right hook, knocking down the American pug known as “One Time”.

Corner adjustments made Thurman switch to southpaw at the start of the second round.

But in the next three rounds, Pacquiao dictated the pace by sending flurries of jabs and displaying his usual in-and-out motion around Thurman.

It was in the fifth round where Thurman started to connect his straights, delivering clean punches to Pacquiao’s face.

The next succeeding rounds, especially rounds 6 and 7, saw Thurman began to press Pacquiao, harassing him with his jabs and using his reach advantage.

But the Pacman still had tricks up his sleeve.

ON A number of occasions, Thurman tagged Pacquiao, who later said the American fighter reminded him of Antonio Margarito. (Joe Camporeale, USA Today Sports/Reuters)

As Thurman continued to press him, Pacquiao reversed the pace as he went back to his in-and-out movements, hitting Thurman with jabs and hooks.

In round 11, Thurman numerously connected with clean right straights, but the 8-division world champion seemed to manage the blows as he stormed back with his combinations every time Thurman throws a solid straight.

Both fighters went at each other in the last round.

Two judges gave the match to Pacman at 115-112, while the third judge gave it to Thurman, 114-113.

Thurman, however, landed more punches than Pacquiao, 210-195, and was more efficient at hitting the latter, fight stats provided by CompuBox showed.

In all, Thurman landed 210 out of 571 punches for 36.8% efficiency, while Pacquiao connected on 195 out 686 punches (28.4%).

Pacman handed Thurman his first career loss in his professional boxing career.