Manny Pacquiao has claimed the WBA welterweight title by defeating Keith Thurman. The 40-year-old champion showed he is simply ageless to defeat Thurman in an absolute cracker, winning by split decision.
Judges scored the fight 114-113 to Thurman, 115-112 for Pacquiao and 115-112 for Pacquiao.
The pair traded shots several times throughout the fight, ripping each other with heavy blows but it was an opening round knockdown from Pacquiao that set the tone.
He dropped Thurman in the opening round of their bout with a beautiful left, right combination. Pacquiao also dominated the second round and even did a slight dance after taking the round, bringing back memories of Muhammad Ali in his prime.
Pacquiao in the tenth round looked to have the champion in intense pain with many left stunned that Thurman was still standing. The eleventh round was Pacquiao's and he did not take a backward step in the final round as both boxers threw plenty of leather trying to end the fight before it went to the judges' scorecards.
"I knew it was close," Thurman said. "He had the momentum because he got the knockdown in round one. I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe.
"I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring. My conditioning and my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao's. I would love the rematch."