At 40 years of age, Manny Pacquiao continues to compete at the highest level, against elite fighters. On Saturday night, the eight-division world champion notched win number 62 via a split decision verdict against Keith Thurman.
Pacquiao rallied through the first half of the fight, scoring a knock down late in the first round. He was also able to survive Thurman’s attacks in the latter half of the fight, en route to his victory.
So when asked by WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter if he had doubts right before the verdict was announced, Pacquiao credited the knockdown as a “big, big factor,” along with his tenth round performance.
“No (I wasn’t worried),” he said. “Because I (also) got him in the tenth round.”
Pacquiao has faced legends and killers throughout his career, but he admits that Thurman is one of the hardest hitting ones.
“He’s heavy-handed, man,” Pacquiao said in a post-fight press conference. “Not like other opponents that I faced before. This guy, he can fight. He’s a kind of opponent that you can’t underestimate.
“I did my hard work (in) my training for this fight. I think I’m just blessed because I got him in the first round. And I think that was the key, the turning point for my win tonight.”
At the end of it all, “Pac-Man” only had encouraging words for his younger opponent.
“Don’t be discouraged, this is part of boxing. And I know your journey is not over.”
Pacquiao now holds the WBA 147-pound title and improves to a record of 62-7-2, with 39 wins by knockout. He has also become the oldest welterweight champion in boxing history.