Building up to the fight, Thurman had been mostly respectful of the fighting Senator's boxing resume and skillset. However, in the weeks leading into the fight, Thurman's tone had changed and he had begun to insult the 8-weight class world champion. Perhaps Thurman was trying to psyche out Pacman, or perhaps Thurman was bulking up his false bravado. However, it took just 2.5 minutes into the first round for Pacquiao to catch Thurman backing up and Pac was able to land the straight left-left to the body followed by the right hook sending Thurman to the canvas for the first time in his career.
Initially when this fight was announced, Thurman was the one favored to win this bout. Thurman had a solid build, and had an even more solid record of 29-0 with 22 knockouts when he stepped into the ring this night. For Pacquiao to knock down Thurman, this sent a clear message to the boxing world that despite his relatively older age compared to other active fighters in the sport (not just the division), Manny was a solid contender for the 'pound for pound' title. For Thurman, the early knockdown was a statement that the boxer from Florida may have seriously underestimated his opponent, and that his previously unblemished record was about to receive its first black eye.
Pac and Thurman would have some good exchanges, with several of those allowing for each fighter's attributes to shine. Pacquiao had several rapid combination flurries, while Thurman was dangerously strong landing multiple powershots. But toward the end of the 10th round, Pacquiao was able to stun Thurman with a well-timed bodyshot causing Thurman to spit out his mouthpiece in order to get deeper breaths as he quickly retreated away from his Filipino stalker.
At the end of the fight, we went to decision. Pacquiao won 2 judges over with 115-112, but Thurman was favored on the final judge's card (113-114).
“You get blessings and lessons. Tonight was a blessing and a lesson. Thank you everybody, and thank you Manny Pacquiao."
"It was fun. My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong... I hope to be at that (Spence-Porter) fight on Sept. 28.”
Hopefully, we'll see both fighters back in action in the upcoming months!
Write-Up: Bailey Guinigundo
Photos: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions