By NICK GIONGCO
LAS VEGAS—Keith Thurman was all praises for his conqueror Manny Pacquiao after being dealt his first defeat in 30 fights on Saturday at the MGM Grand.
Hated for his non-stop trash-talking ways since the fight was formally announced more than two months ago, Thurman was deferential during the post-fight press conference.
“He has a lot left. He’s been in too many wars and he knows what to do,” said Thurman, who suffered a first round knockdown, a huge scare in the fifth and tenth rounds en route to a split decision loss before 14,365 fans.
“He was fast, strong and had those quick short steps and he came well-prepared,” added Thurman.
The first round fall played pivotal role in the scorecards of two of the three judges.
Thurman admitted he was caught off-guard by the combination, saying Pacquiao lived up to his legendary status. He even thanked the Filipino senator for the golden opportunity.
Pacquiao had Thurman in trouble late in the fifth after unleashing a flurry of power punches to the head and body.
Thurman would then display extraordinary recuperative powers to control the next few rounds before being rocked again with a wicked body shot that almost sent him crumpling.
Despite the loss, Thurman feels he deserve a second fight.
“I want a rematch,” said Thurman.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, didn’t say if he would agree to one, baring that he will take a break and return to the ring next year.
Pacquiao will be at ringside when two welter titlists—Errol Spence of the International Boxing Federation and Shawn Porter of the World Boxing Council—clash on Sept. 28.
“I will be there to watch it,” said Pacquiao.
As for Thurman, even Pacquiao believes that the Florida native will hit paydirt someday, something the American puncher insists will happen.
“I learned lot and I am not going nowhere and I’ll be back,” he added.