LAS VEGAS - JULY 20: Manny Pacquiao is sent to his neutral corner after knocking down Keith Thurman in the first round of their fight during the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View and PBC on Fox Fight Night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Stewart Cook/Fox Sports/PictureGroup
Pacquiao outpoints tough Thurman, wins split decision
Dino Maragay ( - July 21, 2019 - 1:06pm

LAS VEGAS (Updated 1:15pm) - Keith Thurman's will turns out to be as good as his loud mouth.

But Manny Pacquiao hands are equally still good.

Pacquiao on Saturday humbled the brash Thurman, scoring a split decision victory to become the WBA "super" welterweight champion at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here (Sunday, Manila time).

Scores were 114-113 for Thurman, and 115-112 (twice) for Pacquiao, who knocked Thurman down in the opening round of what turned out to be an entertaining fight in front of 14,356 fans.

The Filipino star sent Thurman down with a left straight to the body followed by a quick right to the head. A smiling Thurman picked himself up, later on proving to be a tough nut to crack.

By the fifth round, the previously unbeaten boxer had a bloody face after eating a huge right hook from Pacquiao.

Thurman, though, came back and had many moments as well. After yielding the first five rounds to Pacquiao, the fighter from Clearwater, Florida stormed back in the middle rounds and caught his opponent with several solid one-two combos.

Pacquiao had Thurman in trouble again in the 10th round when he tagged him with a powerful left to the body, putting his foe on survival mode for the rest of the canto. Thurman eventually held on and went the distance with the 40-year-old Pacquiao.

Thurman earned Pacquiao's respect with his toughness.

"He's not an easy opponent. He's strong," Pacquiao said in the ring afterwards.

"He did his best, I did my best. We made the fans happy," he added.

Thurman, for his part, was fine with the result and put an end to the brash talk that highlighted the entire promotion.

"I knew it was too close. But he had the knockdown in the first round," said Thurman.

"Pacquiao is truly great, legendary," he added, even addressing Pacquiao as "senator."

"I wish I had a little more output. It was just behind Manny's output," Thurman continued.

Pacquiao improved to 63-7-1 (39 KOs, while Thurman suffered his first defeat in 30 fights (with 22 KOs).

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