Manny Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman

Manny Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman

Forty-year-old Manny Pacquiao employed his speed and power early and landed devastating body shots late, scoring a split decision Saturday night over Keith Thurman in a World Boxing Assn. welterweight unification title bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Manny Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman

Pacquiao (62-7-2) dropped his previously unbeaten opponent with a combination late in the first round, and the Pac-Man dominated the opening rounds with a combination of flair and power that recalled the incredible prime of the only eight-division champion in boxing history.

Money Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman

“It was fun,” Pacquiao said. But it was a hard-fought victory for Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who took one piece of the welterweight title and put himself in line for a shot at the winner of the Errol Spence Jr.-Shawn Porter fight on Sept 28 at Staples Center.

Many Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman

Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) wore red, white and blue. There was a sequined star on the front of his trunks and one on the back. He looked much bigger. He was.

But that bigger body found itself flat on the canvas late in the first round. Pacquiao caught him with a straight right.

“I knew it was too close,” Thurman said. “He got the knockdown, so he had momentum.”

Thurman began the second round looking surprised and with swelling above his eyes. That swift assault continued, forcing Thurman to cover up, back away and re-assess. Those three minutes belonged to Pacquiao. The capacity crowd of 14,356 roared, chanting “Man-ny!”

Mony Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman

Pacquiao’s pace slowed in the third. Thurman appeared to regain his footing, if not some confidence. Still, there was a sudden burst of energy from Pacquiao in the final seconds. It was the way Pacquiao, perhaps, still could control the fight with one quick burst.

Watch the highlights from a different angle with crowd reactions.

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