Manny Pacquiao turned back the time at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas last Sunday, 12 July with a tight split decision victory against Keith Thurman to claim the WBA welterweight “Super” world title.
Pacquiao, 40, the regular champ, captured Thurman’s gold-plated strap with scores of 115-112, 115-112 and 113-114, in an exciting clash of boxing giants that settled the question of who truly reigns the prestigious World Boxing Association’s welterweight division.
For Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, the boxing icon from the Philippines showed that age is just a number.
The Filipino eight-division boxing world champion sent his American counterpart down with a right hand in the opening round making the sold-out arena of 14,356 went wild.
“Pacquiao’s still impressive at age 40. He showed what good physical and mental conditioning can do. He continues to rack up impressive wins against top competition,” Sangiao said.
“He dominated Thurman in the early rounds, he even got a knock down. Thurman got back at him in the middle of the bout but overall, it was a great standing for Manny.”
Slashing left and right with his lightning-quick punches and set of combinations, Pacquiao displayed his vintage scary form.
The Philippine Senator battered Thurman in the succeeding rounds. Despite Thurman’s tremendous will to even up, Pacquiao’s power punches were on point along with his body shots who played a big role in their 12-round showdown.
In the 10th, Pacquiao hurt Thurman with a solid body shot which put the former undefeated champion in obvious pain. Pacquiao chased him but the American fighter was able to evade the follow-up punches and survived the round.
For Sangiao, Thurman also showed his toughness and his heart of the champion against the Filipino spitfire, but for the 39-year-old world-class head coach from Baguio, Pacquiao’s speed was too much for Thurman to handle.
“Thurman is tough. He maintains his pressure. Even though Manny might be too fast for him, he still keeps moving forward. The biggest difference of the match was Manny’s speed,” Sangiao quipped.
With all eyes looking at Pacquiao at the moment after his triumphant win, Sangiao believes that the Filipino legend has just continued to inspire people. Showing that as long you have faith with your talents and to God, age is just a number.
“By beating someone undefeated and 10 years younger than him, Manny continues to inspire the Filipinos to keep on working hard and keep the faith,” Sangiao said. “He just continues to be an inspiration for all of us.”