Pacquiao beats Thurman to take WBA welterweight title

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Manny Pacquiao, the WBA 'Super' Welterweight Champion

Manny Pacquiao claimed the WBA ‘Super’ welterweight title after defeating previously-unbeaten Keith Thurman on a split decision, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA.

It was the third straight win for Pacquiao and 62nd victory from 71 fights in his career.

Keith Thurman had come into the match undefeated. The defeat to Pacquiao is the first for 30-year-old Thurman, after 29 victories in his professional career.

Manny Pacquiao punching Keith Thurman at the WBA ‘Super’ Welterweight fight at Las Vegas

“It was fun,” Pacquiao said afterward. “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.”

Two judges scored the fight 115-112 in favour of the eight-division World Champion from the Philippines, with the other finding in favour of American Thurman, 114-113.

Manny Pacquiao knocks down Keith Thurman

“The knock down was a big factor,” said Pacquiao, who became the oldest Welterweight Champion in boxing history.

Thurman was gracious in defeat but said after the contest he would relish the opportunity to fight Pacquiao again.

Keith Thurman

“I want to thank the fans. I want to thank everybody for coming out. This was a beautiful night of boxing,” Thurman said.

“Manny Pacquiao is a great, truly great champion. I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe-to-toe. I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring.”

“My conditioning, my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao. It was a great night of boxing. I’d love a rematch,” he added.

Manny Pacquiao, the WBA ‘Super’ Welterweight Champion

Manny Pacquiao dazzled to roll back the years against Keith Thurman, and captured the WBA Super World Welterweight title on a split decision.

Could we see Manny Pacquiao in the ring again?

Political duties could keep him in the Philippines and out of the ring until 2020, but for one night only, Pacquiao offered up a version of his glorious self in the victory against Thurman.