Pac-Man is back! Manny Pacquiao dethrones Keith Thurman to win world title number NINE
Pacquiao claimed a split-decision win on the scorecards judge Glenn Feldman scoring the fight 114-113 for Thurman.
But the other two judges, Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham, both saw it the same and scored the fight 115-112 in favor of the 40-year-old, as the crowd inside the MGM Grand Garden arena erupted with approval for the decision.
Pacquiao went from early fight week underdog to fight night favorite with the Vegas sportsbooks as floods of money came in for the Filipino star.
And those holding betting tickets backing a Pac-Man victory were on their feet inside the arena when he dropped Thurman in the opening round with a superb body-shot, right-cross combination that sent the defending champion to the canvas.
Despite that early setback, Thurman recovered well and began to box his way back into the contest in the middle rounds using his slick footwork and swift hand speed.
But Pacquiao would not be denied. Despite being a decade older than his world champion opponent, he showed remarkable energy and stamina levels as he went punch for punch with the American, mixing punches to the head with powerful body shots that had the champion backing away at times.
When the bout went to the scorecards, the arena was buzzing with anticipation that the Filipino senator had done enough to claim the title.
And the arena exploded with joy as the decision was confirmed and Pacquiao was crowned champion once again.
The win puts Pacquiao back at the very top table in boxing, and sets up a potential unification bout with WBO champion Terence Crawford, while also potentially putting him in line to face the winner of the unification battle between the division's other world champions, IBF king Errol Spence and WBC champ Shawn Porter.Also on rt.com Through the ropes: Boxer knocked head-first out of the ring in heavyweight clash (VIDEO)