Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has created history after winding back the clock in his welterweight title fight against Keith Thurman.
The pair were facing off in Las Vegas with Thurman's WBA welterweight title on the line.
The undefeated Thurman went into the bout having never been knocked down as he looked to protect a dominant career record (29-0, 22 KOs).
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However, it was the 40-year-old Filipino Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs who came out swinging early on, becoming the first man in history to send Thurman to the canvas.
Pacquiao showcased the blistering speed that he's become famous for, rattling Thurman with a combination of punches before dropping him with a big right.
The incredible moment had fans praising the 40-year-old's longevity and undisputed class.
Pacquiao too much for Thurman.— T. Arnold (@TB_King9) July 21, 2019
Manny Pacquiao beating the s*** out of Keith Thurman— james matthews (@jamesmatthewsdu) July 21, 2019
Both men thrilled onlookers with a brutal exchange of punches throughout the fight.
After going toe-to-toe for twelve rounds most observers had Pacquiao winning the bout.
However, the three judges came back with a split decision: two giving it 115-112 to Pacquaio and the other having Thurman winning 114-113.
It was a brilliant and fast-paced fight, and should be in consideration for Fight of the Year. Pacquiao proved age is only a number with one of his best performances in the last decade.
Pacquiao dropped Thurman in the first with a hard right hook, and had him in trouble later in the fight with a blistering shot to the solar plexus that left Thurman reeling around the ring.
“He did his best,” Pacaquiao said. “He’s a good boxer.”
With his long-time rival Floyd Mayweather seated at ringside, Pacquiao turned back the clock and look much like he did in his heyday. He was fast and powerful and Thurman admitted he couldn’t keep up with his opponent, who was 10 years his elder.
Thurman (29-1) fought well enough to win on most nights, but he hasn’t fought anyone of Pacquiao’s calibre before.
“Manny Pacquiao is a truly great champion,” Thurman said. “ ... I wish I had a little more output to go toe-to-toe. ... My conditioning was a little behind Manny Pacquiao’s.”
Pacquiao said he likely won’t fight again until 2020. He improved to 62-7-2.
With Yahoo Sports US