Manny Pacquiao entered last night’s WBC title bout a slight betting favorite over his opponent Keith “One Time” Thurman. Leading up to fight night, Pacquiao spoke of taking on the mantle of a wizened teacher, for the sake of imparting a lesson or two on the incumbent champion, 10 years his junior. As history would have it, Manny Pacquiao did just that, cleverly outpointing Thurman for a split decision victory, the WBC belt and the distinction of ending his opponent’s undefeated streak in the professional ranks.
“It was fun. My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong,” Pacquiao remarked after the fight. “Even though Thurman lost, he did his best. He’s not an easy opponent. He’s a good boxer, and he’s strong. I was just blessed tonight.”
When pressed to conjure up an outline of his next 3-fights, at age 40+ no less, Pacquiao held his tongue. The newly-minted WBC Welterweight champ was ultimately forced to board a return flight back to the Philippines in the aftermath of his win, as a political commitment in his home state demanded his immediate attention.
As it stands, “Pac Man” as he’s affectionately called within the fight community, is the only professional boxer in history to win World Championships in 8 different weight divisions. Keith Thurman is no doubt humbled by the opportunity that presented itself. Will Pacquiao acquiesce to Thurman’s post-fight request for a rematch somewhere down the line?