DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 July) – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao won via a split decision in his fight Sunday (Manila time) against erstwhile undefeated Keith Thurman for the WBA super welterweight championship at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
The judges scored it 115-113, 115-112 and 113-114 in favor of Pacquiao.
The victory made the fighting senator the oldest welterweight champion in boxing history.
Pacquiao, defying age, was relentless throughout the match. He threw a right hook to Thurman’s face in the dying seconds of the first round, flooring the younger fighter.
Thurman spat blood at the end of the fifth round but managed to land solid punches from the sixth round onward.
In the tenth round, Thurman reeled and struggled for balance after absorbing a body shot.
His record dropped to 29-0 with this defeat.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, got his 62nd win in 71 professional fights.
Thurman said he would like to arrange a rematch.
In a preliminary fight, another Mindanawon boxer eked out a technical knockout in the fourth round of a flyweight bout.
Genisis Libranza, of Bayugan in Agusan del Sur, unleashed a flurry of punches against Carlos Maldonado halfway through the eight-round fight, forcing the referee to stop the contest.
Libranza dominated the fight from the first round, driving his opponent to the ropes before releasing combinations to the head and body.
His record now stands at 19-1 with 11 knockouts. (MindaNews)