Manny Pacquiao won the World Boxing Association super welterweight championship after beating undefeated Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (Philippine Time).
A first-round knockdown made the difference as the 40-year-old Pacquiao prevailed over the 30-year-old Thurman via split decision.
Thurman seemed to be in control for most of Round 1 until Pacquiao unleashed a 1-2 combo that sent the taller American fighter down late in the round.
Pacquiao maintained the momentum until Round 5, when he bloodied Thurman’s nose.
However, Thurman showed heart the rest of the way and kept the bout close, although Pacquiao almost knocked him down in Round 10 after a huge power punch to his torso.
Glenn Feldman was impressed with Thurman’s gallant stand and had him leading, 114-113, in his scorecard.
However, Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham both had it 115-112 for Pacquiao, who essentially won his 13th world title overall.
Pacquiao scored his 61st win against seven defeats and two draws.
Thurman, meanwhile, suffered his first career loss after a 29-0 start with 22 knockouts.