May-Pac 2 out for now; Thurman rematch logical
LAS VEGAS—If Floyd Mayweather is no longer an option, Manny Pacquiao still has plenty of choices for his next fight.
But if you ask Mayweather Promotions chief Leonard Ellerbe, a rematch with Keith Thurman is the most logical.
Shortly after the split decision was announced, Thurman readily asked Pacquiao for a rematch.
“Much respect to the senator,” Thurman said. “I would love a rematch.”
If only for coming out there to fight Pacquiao toe-to-toe, the 30-year-old American—beaten for the first time, and bloodily at that—clearly deserves one.
“I think they need to do a rematch,” said Ellerbe, who added that he “thought it was close fight, but I thought it was [a] unanimous” win for Pacquiao.
But Ellerbe didn’t bother to answer a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch of their 2015 megafight, which was the biggest ever in boxing in terms of revenues.
Young turks Errol Spence Jr., and Shawn Porter were at ringside. They will clash on Sept. 28 with the winner getting the inside track in the Pacquiao sweepstakes.
Though the fight tarnished Thurman’s once immaculate record, he proved his worth against one of boxing’s greatest.
“This guy,” Pacquiao said of Thurman. “He can fight, he has a lot ahead of him. His journey does not end here. Don’t be discouraged [with] this part of boxing [losing]. This guy is a warrior.”
Thurman matched his brashness in words by coming back despite the punishments.
He survived a stunning knockdown in the first, a busted nose in the fifth, and a sledge-hammer punch to the solar plexus in the 10th.
“Tonight was a great night of boxing,” Thurman said. “You know, the opening round didn’t start the way that I wanted to. Manny Pacquiao had a lot of momentum from the knockdown.”
“I ended up paying attention to the rounds, by the time we got to seven, I said ‘Hey we’re [in the] seventh already,’” he added. His trainer Dan Birmingham then instructed him to try to win every round thereafter.
Thurman’s record fell to 29-1 (22 knockouts), while Pacquiao went up 62-7-2 (39 KOs).
At any rate, Pacquiao said he won’t fight anymore this year.
“I have to go back to my work in the Senate,” said Pacquiao, who , contrary to original plans, won’t make it to President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address on Monday.
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