Manny Pacquiao added another significant note to his belt by throwing Keith Thurman on a Saturday night. Although the verdict was split after 12 rounds, the 40-year-old “Pacman” was the clear winner.
He put Thurman to the canvas in the first round, he made the first half of the fight to control, and then, with Thurman crying back to the bout, he hurt Thurman to the body in the 10th day. Then he did a lot in the late stages to keep out Thurman's rally.
So what did we learn from Saturday night?
Is Pacquiao better now than it was three years ago?
Rafael: I wouldn't say it's better than it was in 2016, a year in which he dealt with Timothy Bradley Jr. (scoring two duties in a clear decision in his third fight) and falling and contemplating Jessie Vargas to win a weighing title . Athletes, particularly boxers with more than 70 professional fights, do not succeed at 40. Now, Pacquiao may be more focused and training oriented than before. As a senator he has to balance his time and maintain a more intense schedule, so he may have helped him stay as a fighter. But it is certainly not better than it was three years ago.
Kim: This is an interesting question. When Pacquiao is focused and motivated, it is still an amazing incredible bug. When he lost a stunning fashion for Jeff Horn back in 2017, he seemed to be possibly emerging in the career of Hall of Hero. But since then, Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman now have a big win.
You might argue that the victory over Thurman is among his greatest ever because of their circumstances (at his age, facing strong enemy who did not suffer). It is certainly his talents, for example with Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto in mind, but this one should definitely be there on that mantel , in the light of variables.
What are Pacquiao's chances against the other title holders in the division? And who should he fight for in the future?
Rafael: The Pacquiao would fight Thurman fight them all, and won some of them. That said, Errol Spence Jr. is a terrible tear. It is faster, more skilled, better protected, younger and fresher than Thurman. Spence is a poor counterpart to most of the people in the division but perhaps Terence Crawford, who thinks it would be a very difficult fight for Pacquiao, but I'd give Pacquiao a better chance against Crawford than Spence. Shawn Porter is physically and inevitably involved in head buttons and rough objects. It is not a big cuckoo for Pacquiao, but with the speed, the root style and the ability to move in and out and side by side, I think he beat Porter.
For the next fight in Pacquiao, it is likely that Premier Boxing Champions will match it with a Spence-Porter winner, but this might not happen until the second half of next year, meaning that Pacquiao would need a fight in the first part of 2020. the rumors involved in a possible fight with Amir Khan in Saudi Arabia, but this is a terrible fight that is of little public interest, at least in the United States. It is a major misapplication at this stage, in favor of Pacquiao. So he knows that he is unlikely to engage a Spence-Porter winner next, or Crawford (for many reasons), Danny Garcia is the best weight for him to fight with. Excellent fighting. Viable fight. Bring it on.
Kim: OK. While the win over Thurman is impressive, the reality is that Thurman was a really inactive man (Saturday was the second game since 2017), and later, against Josesito Lopez. , he showed that he was very vulnerable against limited power fighter.
Pacquiao would still be considered as a favorite over the effortless but limited Curler. But guys like Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford are elite fighters in their physical calls and far more complete herds. Crawford is a boxer master who would have trouble with his long and athleticism in Pacquiao, and Spence is a strong physical force that will be mid-weight and soon afterwards.
As far as Pacquiao should address in the first place, this is an interesting question. It's not clear how long it will be boxing, but since it is with the PBC, Danny Garcia is the most understood opponent. Again, this involves a risk vs. reward, and while Garcia is not very popular as the duo mentioned earlier, it is a known name and is likely to be allowed by its handlers.
The judges finished with the correct winner, but how close was this fight really?
Rafael: I had 117-110 for Pacquiao, 9-3 in rounds, and Pacquiao was getting the knock out in the first round. I thought the judges were a little closer than maybe they should be, but two or three rounds were very close. I had one round that had a hard time deciding and giving it to Pacquiao, so I could have had 116-111. That seems right. The fight was very close, as each round was usually competitive, but Pacquiao certainly won most of them, which is why I strongly agree with the score of 114-113 for Thurman, judge. Glenn Feldman.
Kim: This fight was a shared decision, with Tim Cheatem and Dave Moretti following Pacquiao with the scores of 115-112, while Thurman was Glenn Feldman 114-113. He felt more like a close but clear victory for Pacquiao. He took control of the fight early with tapping on the first round, and Pacquiao won at least four or five of the first six rounds. When Thurman started coming back in the fight in the late rounds, Pacquiao won the 10th round and fought on worthy terms in the final two.
You can argue that Thurman pulled together to close it. However, you can not really argue that he did enough to raise his hands in victory.
Was the tapping on the first round a key element of the fight?
Rafael: Could not. It gave Pacquiao some momentum, and it may have been a bit on Thurman, but he wasn't badly injured and there were 11 rounds to go. In any way, the main thing that spends fighting is 12 rounds long.
Kim: Pacquiao took control of this fight soon, and through Thurman put a talk on the canvas with his right hip "Manila Ice" patented, he adversely affected him in the mind of his younger enemy. He announced an early announcement about how Pacquiao might lose his step, as Eric Dickerson once said, is a step that most people never had.
And with that early momentum for Pacquiao, Thurman's mind was suspected, and he carefully fought carefully in the first half as Pacquiao took early lead on the cards. In addition, by tapping, you position yourself when you do not hit the canvas yourself, the thing you need to do is win six rounds to win.
Has Thurman also been and we thought it was? Where does it go from here?
Rafael: Thurman is very good, and nothing has changed. He later said that he had probably used a fight or two more after 22 months due to injury to enter the groove after he had made a single shaky fight in January. But there is no shame on losing a legend. He generally fought on worthwhile terms and he can certainly bounce back.
Thurman should take a little break, go back to the gym and work on his full game. He still has big fights in his future. One hopes that it will return to legitimate opposition in early 2020.
Kim: Give this to Thurman: With talents over Porter and Garcia (fighting in which he agreed the weight-weight titles) he has a solid résumé. However, people alone did not give him the opportunity to truly develop as a full fighter, and you are usually surprised at his overall passion and commitment to sport.
But don't lose the shame of Pacquiao, and there are lots of rubbish left on the PBC side of the street for weight.
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