Keith Thurman didn’t waste time to air his thirst for revenge.
Shortly after being humbled by Manny Pacquiao in their World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title match Sunday (Manila time) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Thurman expressed his readiness to face the Filipino boxing icon anew.
“I would love a rematch,” said Thurman following an action-packed encounter that went the distance.
“I wish I had a little more output. It was just behind Manny’s output.”
Thurman is convinced that a rematch should be in order.
He claimed that his only flaw was in the first round when the fighting senator rocked him with a powerful left hook that sent him into the canvass. He was never the same fighter again after that as his movement became more tentative and the power in his punches was reduced.
But he pumped life into his bid in Round 7 when he gamely challenged the boxing legend to a brawl.
Pacquiao survived his onslaught before going for the kill in the last three rounds, prompting the American from Clearwater, Florida to struggle for form.
When the smoke cleared, two judges scored 115-112 in favor of Pacquiao while the other saw it 114-113 in favor of Thurman.
“I knew it was too close,” Thurman said.
“He got the knockdown so he had momentum in Round 1. This was a beautiful night of boxing. I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe. I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring.”
But Thurman has to wait before facing Pacquiao anew in the ring.
After their encounter, Pacquiao would fly back to Manila on board a private jet to grace the State of the Nation Address on Monday. Then, he has to attend to his legislative work in the Senate in which he will enter the final stretch of his term.
But more than that, Pacquiao will be a curious observer at the sidelines of the welterweight unification title bout between International Boxing Federation champion Errol Spence Jr. and World Boxing Confederation titlist Shawn Porter in September at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Reports have it that whoever survives will have a handsome chance to face Pacquiao in another title match next year.
Of course, Amir Khan and, possibly, Floyd Mayweather Jr. also remain as possible opponents.
“I think next year. My next fight will probably next year,” said the 40-year-old Pacquiao, shortly after delivering a masterclass against a fighter 10 years his junior.
“I hope I can watch the (Spence-Porter) fight. I want to be there to witness it.”
In a previous statement, the 29-year-old Spence expressed his willingness to fight Pacquiao should he emerge victorious over Porter, a former sparring partner of the Filipino ring supremo.
“He is a legend of the sport. It would be an honor to fight him,” said Spence after defending his title past Mikey Garcia last March.
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