Manny Pacquiao Will Fight Floyd Mayweather Next, Not Keith Thurman
In the eyes of most knowledgeable boxing observers, Manny Pacquiao thoroughly beat Keith Thurman on July 20, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The victory gave Pacquiao a fresh WBA (Super) welterweight championship and earned him the honor of becoming the oldest welterweight to win a major world title in boxing history.
Pacquiao, 40, earned a split decision win that night, but it was not as close of a showdown as Thurman would have you believe. A pair of judges ruled it in Pacquiao’s favor with scores of 115–112, and one ruled in favor of Thurman with a score of 114–113.
Some will point to the fact that Thurman was the more accurate fighter throughout the bout, and the numbers certainly back that assertion up. Thurman landed 192 out of 443 power punches for a 43 percent total. Pacquiao, conversely, landed 113 out of 340 power punches for a 33 percent total. Thurman also landed 210 out of 571 total shots for a 37 percent total. Pacquiao, meanwhile, landed 195 out of 686 shots for a 28 percent total.
The numbers are a bit deceiving, though.
Yes, Thurman was the more accurate fighter that night technically, but the most meaningful shots of the night came courtesy of Pacquiao. In the first round, the Filipino champion knocked his opponent down with a hard right hand. Then in the tenth, Pacquiao sent Thurman running with a brutal body shot that clearly did a lot of damage.
Needless to say, Pacquiao did enough to win the fight.
With that victory, came an obvious question: what is next?
Thurman would very much like for the answer to be a rematch against him. He said that much in an interview with TMZ this week.
Unfortunately for him, as previously reported by Game 7, Pacquiao has his sights set on a fight versus Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather, 42, famously defeated Pacquiao back in May 2015 – but both men have come a long way since then.
Pacquiao has resurrected what looked like a dead career with three straight victories. Mayweather, similarly, has performed well in a pair of exhibition bouts against MMA fighters. Both fighters look shockingly fresh for their age.
Thurman, for what it is worth, does not think anyone wants to watch Mayweather-Pacquiao II. Speaking with TMZ, he said that “at the end of the day, nobody wants to see it.”
When pressed to elaborate, Thurman suggested that a second showdown between himself and Pacquiao is what the fans want.
“Real fight fans know,” he said. “It ain’t gonna be more exciting than what Keith Thurman just did.”
The validity of that statement is debatable, but the facts at hand are not. If Mayweather agrees to fight him, Pacquiao will take that rematch 100 times out of 100. End of story.