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THE LEAGUE58 

MPBL founder Manny Pacquiao gets split decision win over Keith Thurman

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, July 21, 2019 1:25pm

Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League founder Manny Pacquiao beat Keith Thurman via a split decision to WBA super welterweight crown and give the American his first defeat in his boxing career on Sunday (Philippine time) at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

The 40-year-old Filipino senator knocked down the 30-year-old American in the very first round and dominated the rest of the way even though Thurman had his moments. At the end of 12 rounds, the two judges scored it 115-112 in favor of Pacquiao. One judge had Thurman winning with a 114-113 tally.

“I really love the fans. Thank you for coming here to watch the fight. I’m sure you had fun because you witnessed a good fight,” Pacquiao said after the fight.

“He’s not an easy opponent. He is strong. I’m just blessed to win tonight,” Pacquaio said of his opponent.

With the win, Pacquiao now holds a 62-7-2 win-loss-draw record. Thurman, meanwhile, absorbed his first loss in 30 bouts. He also has no draws in his record.

Even though it was a boxing event, a lot of MPBL personalities went to the venue to throw their support to the father of the 31-team league, including MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes. Also there were Jax Chua of the Basilan Steel, Nomar Isla of the Bicol Volcanoes, Lavin Castro of the Pasay Voyagers, JJ Javelosa of the Iloilo United Royals, and Christian Singson of the Nueva Ecija MiGuard, among others.

Two-time National Basketball Association champion and two-time Finals Most Valuable Player Kawhi Leonard also watched the fight and even sat close to the Pacquiao family.

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