Fightful Boxing Newsletter (7/25/19) Table Of Contents:

  • Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman Review: What’s Next For Pacquiao? (Page 1)
  • Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman Review: Full Results (Page 2)
  • Canelo Alvarez Potentially Staying At Middleweight Next (Page 3)
  • Dillian Whyte Reportedly Tests Positive For Banned Substance (Page 4)
  • News And Notes From Around The World Of Boxing (Page 5)

Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman Review: What’s Next For Pacquiao?:

In more ways than one, the welterweight division got more clear on July 20 with one of the most impressive performances by a boxer 40 years and older in history. Manny Pacquiao scored a massive win over Keith Thurman in the main event of a FOX pay-per-view to capture the WBA “Super” welterweight title.

Though the official result, a split decision win for Pacquiao, indicated an extremely close fight, what we saw was a clear victory for the Filipino champion that started off with a first-round knockdown. Afterwards, it was nothing but several rounds of Pacquiao effortlessly landing the left hand before Thurman came back strong in the second round until Pacquiao secured the win in the final round.

All in all, it was an entertaining fight that will undoubtedly be named one of the year’s best fights for delivering a dramatic bout from start to finish on the stage that it was put in. Given how every pay-per-view main event this year has been incredibly one-sided or very disappointing, expectations were sky high for the entire event and for the most part, it delivered.

The pay-per-view card featured several contenders in action and two more welterweights emerged as strong title contenders with dominant wins in their respective bouts: Sergey Lipinets and Yordenis Ugas.

Though the rest of the card was notable for who fought on the undercard, there’s no doubt that it was Pacquiao’s night of brilliance.

At 40 years old, it’s hard to really quantify how great that performance is. It’s rare seeing a boxer at that age compete at a high-enough of a level to be considered a contender but to go out and beat a top five, unbeaten champion is on another level.

The last time we’ve seen any 40+ year old boxer do anything like this was Bernard Hopkins when he won a number of light heavyweight titles throughout his 40s and was a top contender all the way until his retirement fight when he was 50 years old back in 2016. Even before Hopkins, there were only a handful of boxers that fit the bill, mainly George Foreman, Sugar Boy Malinga and Bob Fitzsimmons.

As far as what this win means for Pacquiao’s immediate future and for the rest of PBC’s welterweight roster, the answer is fairly simple. Pacquiao is more than likely out for the remainder of 2019 due to his duties as a senator in the Philippines, but by the time he returns to the ring in winter/spring 2020, the division will be even less murky.

Announced hours before the main card began was an IBF and WBC welterweight title unification between Errol Spence Jr. (IBF champion) and Shawn Porter (WBC) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on September 28. Spence has slowly been built up as PBC’s next mega star and PPV draw after the relative success of his March 2019 fight against Mikey Garcia. If we’re going the direct route, Pacquiao could be facing the Spence-Porter winner sometime in 2020 in a three-belt unification. However, it is almost never that easy to make superfights like those in that time span. More likely than not, PBC might opt in to give the Spence-Porter winner all of 2020 to continue building himself up as a real top star and marinate a fight against Pacquiao.

Now, if Pacquiao were to fight anyone else in 2020 in anything but a unification, there are a few names worth mentioning. Lipinets, who stopped late replacement Jayar Inson in the second round on the main card, could be someone on the outside looking for a potential fight against Pacquiao. Lipinets has really emerged as a dark horse contender starting with a win over Lamont Peterson earlier this year.

There is also Jamal James, who defeated Antonio DeMarco in the main event of a PBC on FS1 card from Minneapolis earlier this month. Both James and Lipinets are highly ranked by the WBA and one could potentially imagine a scenario where the governing body has both men fight for a secondary or interim title while Pacquiao gets ready for a fight in 2020.

Even though Pacquiao came into the fight as the “Regular” champion and Thurman was the “Super,” meaning the right thing would be for their to be one sole WBA champion from this point forward, history has shown that is almost never the case. When “Super” middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin beat “Regular” champion Daniel Jacobs in 2017, the WBA would go on to have Ryota Murata and Hassan N’Dam fight for the “Regular” title despite conventional wisdom saying that Golovkin should be the only WBA champion. In the case of the WBA welterweight division in 2019, the odds of this happening are fairly high.

But more than anything, there has been a renowned push for a rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., a topic that has been on and off again for more than four years.

What strengthened those calls for a rematch is that Mayweather was in attendance for the July 20 fight and for better or worse, that is the fight PBC and FOX is clearly pushing. Regardless of what anybody thinks about the quality of their first encounter, a rematch would likely be one of the most lucrative fights in boxing history given its mainstream appeal.

Mayweather has remained adamant about staying retired but he has shown hints about coming back. Not only has he gone against his word on staying retired in 2017 to fight Conor McGregor in August of that year, but he even had a three-round exhibition bout against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa last December, which Mayweather won with a first-round TKO. In a post on his Instagram page, Mayweather addressed his frustrations with his name being accompanied with Pacquiao’s in order to drive up interest in a potential rematch on social media.

"I find it real ironic how every time Pacquiao's name is brought up in the media, my name is always attached to it. This man's entire legacy and career has been built off its association with my name and it's about time you all stop using my brand for clout chasing and clickbait and let that man's name hold weight of its own. For years, all you heard was that "Floyd is afraid of Manny Pacquiao". But what's funny is, when we finally fought, I won so easily that everyone had to eat their words! All of the so called boxing experts, critics and jealous American 'fan base' either went mute and ran for cover or made every excuse in the world as to why I should give Manny Pacquiao a rematch. My take on all this bulls--t is that y’all are just upset that I broke Rocky Marciano's record and hate the fact that a Black, high school dropout outsmarted you all by beating all odds and retiring undefeated while maintaining all my faculties simply by making smart choices and even smarter investments. Ultimately, I will always have the last laugh!"

The idea of a rematch between the two is farfetched, but given the massive potential payout all parties involved would receive, it's an idea that will remain out there for the taking for years to come. Regardless, the rest of 2019 will more than likely shape Pacquiao's future next year in what might be his final year as a boxer.

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