Las Vegas (US), July 21 (IANS) Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao went past undefeated Keith Thurman to become the WBA welterweight champion in a split decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The instant classic fight on Saturday saw two judges score the fight 115-112 for Pacquiao while the third had it 114-113 for Thurman, reports news.com.au.
“It was fun,” Pacquiao said after the bout. “My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong. I think he did his best, and I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight.”
The 40-year-old also said he is planning on fighting again in 2020, possibly against the winner of the September 28 fight between Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter.
Thurman, 30, was fighting for his 30th straight win against the 40-year-old Filipino.
“I knew it was close,” the American said.
“He had the momentum because he got the knockdown in Round 1. I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe.
“My conditioning, my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s tonight. Tonight was a blessing and a lesson,” he added.
Pacquiao was fighting for the 71st time in his incredible career that has seen seven defeats, four of those losses coming in his past 11 fights before the meeting with Thurman.