By Miguel Maravilla
Former welterweight world champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) of Clearwater, Florida, discussed his defeat to Filipino boxing icon Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) at the post-fight press conference.
“Tonight was a great night of boxing. The opening rounds didn’t start like I wanted them to. Manny Pacquiao got momentum with the early knockdown. Obviously, he caught me in the first round,” Thurman said. “I was beaten tonight and that the sport of boxing. I’m not going anywhere and I will be back.
“He was fast and strong, everything what Pacquiao has been. I wanted to be in his face but he’s been in so many wars that he knows what not to do. I knew he’s been the most active fighter. The constant activity to keep him in shape.”
Late in the fight in the tenth, Pacquiao staggered Thurman with a body shot as the champ backed away. Thurman held on and then answered back with his hard shots. In the end, the judges scored the bout 114-113 for Thurman, 115-112 for Pacquiao, and 115-112 for Pacquiao.
“I felt I tested him and myself. The judges saw it their way and now Manny Pacquiao is the champion,” Thurman stated. “It just hit me in the right spot and had me bleeding. It didn’t bother me too much. I was focused on putting pressure but he was quite conservative. I really thought I was putting pressure on him but my numbers were not up to par.
“There was so much going on and in that moment I knew it would be difficult to get the judges on my side. I was obviously hurt in that fight. That’s boxing and, obviously, he was well prepared.
“He started with the knockdown in the first and then the body shot in the end was enough to convince the judges. I thought I would be able to do some countering and pressure him. Some of the things I wanted to do I did. Put I came up short in the numbers game.
“It was a blessing and a lesson to have a tremendous fight. Me showing my grit. Of course, I wanted to win the fight and I fell short. I do know that I’m a true champion. I will be back to the top in the sport of boxing. Keith Thurman brings out the best in the welterweight division,” Thurman concluded.
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