Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Takeaways from Manny Pacquiao’s victory over Keith Thurman

Photo by Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions
Fighters Network

First things first, let’s start out with some positivity, shall we?

The world needs it, boxing needs it, after we lost Pernell Whitaker and after we saw Maxim Dadashev deteriorate before our eyes and become another fighter sacrificed at the altar of pugilism, another person who succumbs to head trauma and suffers bleeding in the brain after being too brave for their own good.

It is a pretty infrequent but nonetheless regular happening in this savage and sweet science, and serves as, at best, a reminder that those aren’t love taps, and the practitioners doing their best deserve our immense respect.

The Dadashev case didn’t cast a pall over the festivities at the MGM Grand, because boxing fans tend to be able to compartmentalize well; we felt genuine intrigue as we waited to see if the old lions could still bare the fangs and bite hard….or if the younger one would summon pride and go in for the kill, to try and replace the alpha.

After twelve rounds, we all were reminded, again, that sometimes these A side vs A side PPVs do give bang for the buck, that the sport can rise to stellar heights and offer potent and ample examples in perseverence and courage, give us a blueprint for living.

Here are some of the glaring takeaways from Manny Pacquiao’s ‘fine at 40’ festival, which showed that the Senator has more than enough left in the tank to handle a millenial generation seeker of legendary status.

MADE IN THE SHADE: I hate that I start off with this takeaway, but it’s a sad sign of the times we are in. Manny looked superalative in the 12 rounder, and he wasn’t going to do that without sniping taking place. Did you see the Teddy Atlas Tweet?

Yep, aspersions being cast…implications being furnished. And let’s not just take aim at Atlas…we’ve all seen the chatter, and seen Pacman’s right hand man Sean Gibbons taking aim at those suggesting the lack of a VADA testing regimen casts some doubt on the legitimacy and purity of this Pacman effort.

Sign of the times….and yep, I wish this weren’t so. But it is, because we know better, because we now in our hearts and minds that the temptation to get every edge, including the ingestion of exotic supplements, is present to these sports entertainers who engage in battles with ludicrously large sums of money up for grabs. Until everyone does 365 testing, aspersions will be cast, shade will be hurled…these are the times we live in.

TIME OUT FOR ONE TIME: It is official, Keith Thurman ain’t what he used to be, isn’t what he was when he was given the nickname “One Time” and when that tag fit him. It just doesn’t anymore. I was with my Fightnight Live partner Xavier Porter watching the Pacquiao-Thurman scrap, and noted to him, “Manny is ripping shots, Thurman is placing them,” and he nodded hard and agreed heartily. Judges note that, too; they give extra credit for aggression, they see the one who is turning those hips, seeking to get that nasty torque going, and they reward it. Keith Thurman maybe wants to retire the nickname “One Time” because it sets up expectations that he isn’t as likely as he was to surpass. Just be Keith, that is in and of itself something to be proud of.

WINNING FOR LOSING: Only the surliest anti-Thurmanites didn’t give the 30 year old props for that effort. He handled that knockdown in the first, and then weathered the internal organ storm from the Pacman body shot in the tenth, and he kept on grinding. Now, is it possible he might re-watch tape and see certain spots where he could have, ideally, done more? Quite possible. I was covering fights in AC, at the Showboat and I saw Yab Judah’s dad Yoel before the event. Who wins, Pacquiao or Thurman, I asked him? We talked about it, and said, almost in unison, “Follow the money.” Pacman has that track record of being good for business, and thus, Thurman had to know, if he was being smart-cynical, he came to Nevada two points down. Therefore, knowing that, you gotta know you almost have to KO the guy to get the decision win. Of course, that’s unless Glenn Feldman is in a high chair…

IT’S BASIC, GET HIM LASIK: I’ve seen worse cards. Heck, I saw a couple worse in one of the fights I called Saturday. But yeah, Glenn Feldman didn’t have an “ON” night, in seeing Thurman a 114-113 winner. However, in his defense, most of those rounds were close. Hey, I’d like to see us get our act together, and start a judge tribunal…let’s have these guys who turn in these iffy cards face the music, explain their reasoning, publicly. Because the public has a right to know, and these fighters do too. Glenn, what were you thinking? But, there will be no tribunal, the powers that be don’t have it all together enough to fix the system…and maybe some don’t want it fixed, maybe it is a feature, not a bug, in the system.

AGAINST MY BETTER JUDGEMENT…Nope, he shouldn’t be included in this piece, but what the hell. Adrien Broner did nothing to gain fans when after the fight he snitched on Thurman for allegedly gambling before the fight, and then saying he wanted to quit.

He also bragged that he didn’t get knocked down by Pacquiao. Um, Thurman gave a better account of himself than you did, Broner, and you took zero risks, so you didn’t get dropped….so what? You acted like going 12 was winning, and people mocked the hell out of you for talking so big and then fighting so small. But, I know…I’m giving you waht you want when I talk about you. And it’s probably playing into your hands, because maybe they book Broner vs Thurman next, and you get another payday. Joke’s on me? Nah…I hear the laughter, and it isn’t with you, man, it’s at you. SMFH….

“MAY”BE WE SEE THE SEQUEL: Manny Pacquiao didn’t sign with Al Haymon to fight Keith Thurman. You KNOW we are seeing Mayweather vs Pacquiao 2, it’s just a matter of when, friends. Yes, I was surprised that Floyd Mayweather didn’t hop into that ring, try to steal the show with some yapping after Manny had his hand raised. But no way is that pile of loot being left on the table. We see the sequel, it’s just a matter if Floyd is still 42 when it happens, or not.


Latest Issue Cover