Pacquiao Tops Thurman to Take WBA Belt
By now, you’ve probably heard that 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao beat 30-year-old Keith “One Time” Thurman via a split, 113-114, 115-112, 115-112 decision to take Thurman’s WBA welterweight championship belt -- and hand him the first loss of his professional career. The question is what this win means for Pacquiao’s legacy and future.
Pacquiao is still very good, but he doesn’t have the killer finishing ability he once had. Pacquiao has only stopped one of his last 10 opponents, despite having knocked down four of them. If Manny was as good as he once was, Thurman may not have survived the first knockdown and would very likely not have survived the 10th round body shot that had him in agony.
As far as Pacquiao’s legacy, this was a very solid win. On twitter, Max Kellerman argued that Manny is now between the fifth and 10th best boxer of all time. That’s way too high for a guy with seven losses, including stoppages by Rustico Torrecampo and Boonsai Sangsurat, but Pacquiao deserves to be mentioned somewhere in the Top 30.
While not as enthusiastic as Kellerman, others applauded what he was able to do at 40 years old, and that he has held belts between 112 and 147 pounds, between 1998 and 2019. While PED rumors will always mar this unique ability to succeed while moving so far up in weight, until something definitive is proven he deserves all credit.
But everyone needs to take a step back and realize that while Thurman is a very good fighter at 147 pounds, he’s not the man at that weight class. If Pacquiao thinks he’s now the guy to beat at 147, he needs to fight either Terence Crawford -- who PBC didn’t put in their 147 pound champions graphic, which is a petty joke -- or Errol Spence Jr.
As good as Manny looked, Keith Thurman still managed to land the most power punches of any opponent Pacquiao’s ever faced. If either Spence or Crawford hit Pacquiao that often, it would be game over for the Filipino legend. Manny tends to fight in July and January, so expect him to return (at 41 years old) early next year. Errol Spence would be the easiest fight to make (assuming he beats Shawn Porter), the question is if Manny’s confident enough to think he could beat the best of the best, not just a talented, young, undefeated fighter.
Teofimo Lopez Looks “Horrible” in First Decision Win
Teofimo Lopez was forced to go the distance for the first time in his career, and though he came out victorious, he slowed the hype train he was doing so well to build.
Lopez ultimately won a wide, unanimous 118-110, 118-110, 119-109 decision over Masayoshi Nakatani, the first of his opponents to hear the final bell, but Lopez was hit enough, with right hands especially, that those watching him who thought he was going to keep knocking people out and doing Fortnite dances above their unconscious bodies needed to reevaluate how ready the 21-year-old was for a title shot.
Lopez said his performance was “horrible” but argued that while he had trouble with Nakatani’s height, from now on his opponent’s will be the same height as him. Others didn’t let him off the hook that easy. Yahoo’s Kevin Iole suggested he dump his father and get with a veteran trainer, while Tim Bradley said he was exposed, and that if he doesn’t figure out how to better shoulder roll the right hand, Commey’s powerful right will be a huge problem.
The 21-year-old doesn’t have much time to make any huge changes; he is still on track to fight Richard Commey for the IBF belt next. However, while Bob Arum said the Commey fight was up next, likely in November or December, he has begun hesitating on whether Lopez would be ready to face Lomachenko with a win.
Ultimately, this could be a good thing for Lopez if he goes back to the drawing board and works on his weaknesses. It could also be the night Lopez’s suspect defense was exposed, and #thetakeover showed its fatal flaw.
Caleb Plant Embarrasses Mike Lee in Third-Round Stoppage
Mike Lee had a chance to make the people who ridiculed him over his undeserved Subway commercial in 2013 eat a $5 foot long of crow on Saturday night. Instead, he proved them right in an embarrassing third round stoppage loss to IBF 168 pound champion Caleb Plant.
Quite honestly, the fight was embarrassing. Lee was slow and plodding, and Plant dropped him three times before the referee called off the fight. Lee didn’t like the stoppage, but the fight wasn’t close and was not going to be close, so there’s not much he can be upset about.
There were a lot of Subway jokes on boxing Twitter, while the more outside-the-box thinkers opted to joke about Notre Dame’s history of being overhyped and underperforming on the biggest stages (Lee is a Notre Dame graduate). For Plant, there are rumors of him facing the winner of Truax-Quillin or Benavidez-Dirrell in his next bout. For Lee, he might want to finally put that Notre Dame degree to good use and consider 9-to-5ing it.
Whyte Decisions Rivas and Calls out Wilder
Facing power-punching Colombian Oscar Rivas, Dillian Whyte was dropped with a huge uppercut in the ninth round. This was the moment that the decision to take on a little known, but incredibly dangerous opponent, after being promised a title shot with a win, looked like a disaster. But Whyte got up, took most of the later rounds and ultimately won a unanimous 115-112, 115-112, 116-111 decision.
With the win, Whyte became the mandatory challenger to Deontay Wilder’s WBC title. However, Wilder is first scheduled to fight Luis Ortiz, then move on to take on Tyson Fury. With all these fights lined up -- to say nothing of possible third fights against either man or Wilder opting to bail on the belt -- Whyte is smart enough to understand if he tries to wait for his shot, he may be waiting a long time. After the fight, he noted that “It’s boxing, a lot of things get said and not a lot happens. Being mandatory may mean it could be another 600 days,” while declaring that, at 31, he’d like to stay busy and fight four or more times a year.
Whyte has not lost since a 2015 fight against Anthony Joshua, but he still can’t get a shot with the big-name fighters he’s looking to face. Instead, he will have to keep fighting dangerous opponents and hoping Wilder takes the fight against his mandatory opponent sooner rather than later.
Ugas Hands Figueroa His First Professional Loss
Yordenis Ugas, fresh off a controversial split decision loss to Shawn Porter, took advantage of the name recognition that fight gave him by dominating Omar Figueroa Jr. over the course of twelve rounds. Ugas, a former Olympic bronze medalist from Cuba, dropped Figueroa in the first, then dominated the now-29 year old over the course of twelve rounds. He was docked a point for holding in the fifth, but it didn’t matter as he would ultimately win every round en route to a unanimous 119-107, 119-107, 119-107 decision.
If Porter loses to Spence Jr., it would make sense for an Ugas-Porter rematch, provided Ugas is willing to wait that long. For Figueroa, he is increasingly looking like a cautionary tale of too much success too soon -- he held a world title at 23 -- and too little effort too late.
Luis Nery Stops Juan Carlos Payano with a Body Shot
In August of 2017, Luis Nery won the WBC Bantamweight title, but after he failed a drug test for zilpaterol, a PED, they took his title away. Two years later, Nery is still undefeated (now 30-0 with 26 knockouts) but title-less, in part due to problems making weight. The point being, Mexico’s Luis Nery may still be the best bantamweight in the world, and he proved it again this weekend.
This weekend, Nery knocked out Juan Carlos Payano with a left hook to the liver, in the ninth round of a fight he was dominating. Immediately after, fans started calling for Nery to get a shot at Naoya “The Monster” Inoue, in what would be a highly entertaining bout. Hopefully Nery gets better at his weight cuts, and hopefully that fight happens.
Maxim Dadashev Placed into Medically Induced Coma Following TKO Loss to Subriel Matias
While the resurgence of Manny Pacquiao dominated the weekend’s headlines, boxing had another tragedy that struck the front page of most news websites. Maxim Dadashev was getting thoroughly handled by Subriel Matias, when the Russian’s trainer, Buddy McGirt, opted to stop the fight after the eleventh to prevent further punishment. With so little time left in the fight, McGirt justified his decision by noting, “One punch as you know can change a whole guy's life and I wasn't going to let that happen, so I'd rather have them be mad at me for a day or two than to be mad at me for the rest of their life.”
Unfortunately, Mcgirt may have been too late. During the fight, Dadashev suffered a brain bleed and was placed in a medically induced coma after part of his skull was removed to deal with the swelling. People are criticizing the Maryland Athletic Commission for the lack of a stretcher to carry Dadashev out of the ring, but other than that minor issue, it seems everyone did everything right. The fight was not a mismatch -- it was 13-0 vs 13-0 and Dadashev was considered the better prospect -- Mcgirt stopped it correctly, and everything in the ring was well refereed. In boxing, unfortunately, these things just happen, and this weekend, it happened again.
« Previous Manny Pacquiao Edges Keith Thurman for WBA Welterweight Crown Next Sherdog Boxing: The Weekly Wrap »