By Jan Carlo Anolin
Manny Pacquiao is the new World Boxing Association (WBA) Super World Welterweight champion.
Pacquiao stripped off Keith Thurman’s WBA title via split decision, 115-112, 115-112, 114-115, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
Pacquiao knocked down Thurman early in the first round.
Judges Dave Moretti and Tim Cheatham gave Pacquaio a 115-112 while Thurman, 30, had 114-113 from judge Glenn Feldman.
Pacquiao, at the age of 40, handed Thurman’s first career loss (29-1, 22 KOs), before the 14, 356 MGM crowd.
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) improved his record in title fights to 20-4-2 and 11-3 as a welterweight.
Meanwhile, Filipino undercard fighters went two-of-three earlier.
Leo Dato and Genesis Libranza knocked out their respective opponents Juan Antonio Lopez and Carlos Maldonado.
Meanwhile, Russian Sergey Lipinet defeated Davaoeño John Inson via technical knockout in the second round.
READ MORE: Inson suffers KO as Libranza, Dato win
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray also joined Pacquiao’s entourage.
Floyd Mayweather Jr., 2019 NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who is now with the Los Angeles Clippers, and former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce were also watching from the ringside.
(Note: This story is updated. Read full story here: Pacquiao delivers vintage performance to capture WBA crown)