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Pacquiao says war vs Thurman: ‘Candidate for Fight of the Year’

/ 01:54 PM July 22, 2019
Pacquiao Thurman Boxing

Keith Thurman, left, and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches in the eighth round during a welterweight title fight Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS—The Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman welterweight showdown did not disappoint.

It was action-packed, explosive and simply entertaining from the opening bell to the final seconds.

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Fight of the Year? Pacquiao thinks so.

“That’s a real fight,” said Pacquiao, his face bruised and still swollen after a 12-round war Sunday at his suite before heading to Manila. “Candidate for Fight of the Year.”

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Critics doubted Pacquiao’s ability to perform as a 40-year-old going up against an undefeated 30-year-old champion, who is also bigger.

But Pacquiao quickly made a fool out of his naysayers with a statement first round.

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Pacquiao came out strong and dropped Thurman with a right hook to the chin in the opening round as signs of an early stoppage filled the air inside the sold out MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Two more separate instances came wherein Thurman looked finished—the first was in the fifth when he couldn’t seem to get his legs under him as he wobbled his way to his corner while the second was in the 10th when he took his mouthpiece off and retreated after taking a crushing left to the body.

“I’m still quicker than him even at my age. Whenever I go on the offensive, he gets rattled,” Pacquiao, the newly-minted WBA (Super) welterweight champion, said.

But Thurman had his moments especially after the sixth round where he landed clean shots that had Pacquiao’s supporters holding their breaths.

“It was fun. He did his best, I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight,” Pacquiao said in the post-fight press conference.

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TAGS: Boxing, Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, Sports
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