Not So Fast Retirement Home!
Pacquiao Beats Thurman & Wins The Title
By Dave Wilcox
Las Vegas - A raucous sellout crowd of 14,356 filled the
MGM Grand Garden Arena to its brim on Saturday night as
Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) was set to
defend his WBA Super Welterweight belt against the
living legend, Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs).
When the fighters made their way to the ring, the crowd
noise hit a fever pitch that was almost deafening. The
pro-Pacquiao crowd let it be known to all in attendance
who had the real home field advantage on this night. The
chants of “Manny, Manny, Manny” went on, up until the
National Anthems of both the United States and the
There were many questions to be answered by both men
going into this fight and once referee; Kenny Bayless
finished his instructions at center ring, now it was now
time for some answers.
The bell sounded for the first round to begin and off we
went. The round began quite ordinary as Pacquiao bounced
and dodged and Thurman boxed and looked for his
openings. Then out of nowhere, Manny Pacquiao hit pay
dirt with a right hand that put “One-Time” on the
canvas. Thurman got up and appeared to be ok, but the
damage was done and the tone of the fight was set.
In the second and third round Manny really took charge
and Thurman was having a difficult time dealing with the
speed and awkwardness of Pacquiao.
Rounds four and five found Thurman looking more
comfortable and finding a slight groove, but just as it
seemed Thurman was on to something, Manny would come
back with flurries to immediately steel back the
It appeared a one sided fight was inevitable, but
Thurman showed his championship heart made it a fight as
we went through the middle rounds. By round nine, the
cards were getting closer and the outcome was inevitable
The championship rounds were upon us and Manny Pacquiao
and Keith Thurman went to work.
In the tenth round, a left hook to the body of Thurman
visibly slowed him down and he went into defensive mode.
The final two rounds were close but Manny Pacquiao
appeared to have a decision victory wrapped up by
sweeping the last three rounds on this writer’s card.
And then they went to the Judges…………….
Judge Glenn Feldman surprisingly scored the fight
114-113 in favor of Keith Thurman, while both Judges
Dave Moretti and Tim Cheathan had it scored 115-112 in
the favor of the winner and new WBA Super Welterweight
champion, Manny Pacquiao.
This writer had it scored 117-110 in favor of Pacquiao
The forty year old Pacquiao turned back the clock yet
again in Las Vegas and in the post-fight interview, he
looked to the future.
"It was fun. My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He
“I think (I will fight) next year. I will go back to the
Philippines and work and then make a decision.”
For Keith Thurman it was back to the drawing board.
"I knew it was too close. He got the knockdown so he had
momentum in round one.”
“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. My conditioning and my
output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s. I would love
“You get blessings and lessons. Tonight was a blessing
and a lesson. Thank you everybody, and thank you Manny
In the end, the fight was better than expected and a win
for the sport of Boxing.
In what the WBC referred to as their Welterweight title
eliminator, Cuban, Yordenis Ugas (24-4,11KOs) squared
off against the previously undefeated lightweight champ,
Omar Figueroa, Jr. (28-1-1, 19KOs) in a bout scheduled
for 12 rounds.
I, on the other hand will refer to this fight as fifty
minutes my life that I will never get back.
The first round started promising as Ugas landed a right
hand to the head of Figueroa that sent him staggering
back to the ropes. After that, any promise of a good
fight was thrown out the window.
Figueroa didn’t seem right from the start, and from the
second round on, the fight became unwatchable. Ugas was
slapping and hugging and Omar was clinching. There were
warnings for holding, head butts, low blows, hitting
after the bell and pushing.
It was an ugly affair for the rest of the way.
Although the fight was significantly below average, Ugas
did do all the landing of punches in between the tangos
and you would be hard pressed to find any rounds to give
to Omar Figueroa, Jr.
After 12 rounds, all three Judges, Eric Cheek, Julie
Lederman and Steve Weisfeld had identical scores of
119-107 in favor of Yordenis Ugas.
Welterweight John Molina, Jr. was set to face once
beaten Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12 KOs) of Kazakhstan in a
10 round affair, until a last minute back injury
sidelined the always exciting Molina.
Javar Inson of the Philippines’ (18-3, 12KOs) was more
than happy to step in against the tough Lipinets.
About five minutes later, he might have felt
differently. In the second round, the Southpaw Inson
missed with a right hook and Lipinets immediately
greeted the late substitute’s chin with a huge left hook
of his own and down went Inson.
Referee Jay Nady immediately waved off the bout at :57
of the second round and Sergey Lipinets was declared the
winner by TKO.
The opening bout of the PPV telecast was for something
called the WBC Silver Bantamweight Championship and was
scheduled 12 rounds.
Tough veteran, Juan Carlos “Baby Pacquiao” Payano (21-3,
9KOs) from the Dominican Republic was set to square off
against unbeaten, Luis Nery (30-0, 24 KOs)of Tijuana,
In the early going, the cagey Dominican was a tough
riddle to solve for Nery, but by the sixth round, Payano
was visibly slowing down and Nery appeared to be growing
Then in round nine, a wicked left hook from Nery to the
body of Payano was followed up with a left hook to the
head and just like that, Payano’s night was over. Luis
Nery was declared the winner by KO when Referee, Vic
Drakulich called the action to a halt at 1:43 of round
FOX TV CARD
The IBF Super Middleweight World Championship was on the
line as budding Superstar, Caleb Plant of Nashville, TN
(19-0, 11 KOs) squared off against the previously
unbeaten, Mike Lee of Downers Grove, Illinois (21-1, 11
We found out quickly as the first round started that Mr.
Lee’s unbeaten record just possibly might have been a
bit deceiving. Caleb Plant is classes above Lee and this
mismatch didn’t last long.
In the third round, a nice three punch combination put
Lee down. Lee did get up but was soon treated to a left
hook that put him down yet again. Referee, Robert Byrd
quickly stepped in and called a halt to the bout at 1:59
of the third round.
The talk from both men leading up to the fight was more
competitive than the fight itself and both men spoke on
it after the fight.
“It went exactly how I planned it would go. Absolutely.
I’ve been telling you all week it wasn’t going to go 12
rounds and I stuck to my word and I tried to do that. I
hope you guys had a good time”, said Caleb Plant.
“I tip my hat to Mike (Lee) because it takes a true
champion to step between these ropes. But it’s ‘And
Still’ just like I predicted.”
Mike Lee had no excuses to give.
"The speed was the difference, he's fast and very
"No issue with the stoppage, that's the referee's job
and I respect it."
As for Caleb Plant, unification is in his sights.
“Oh yeah, we can definitely unify (against Anthony
Dirrell vs. David Benavidez winner). I ain’t hard to get
a hold of. I ain’t hard to make a fight with. Come see
me. You know my advisor.”
In the opening bout of the televised FOX telecast,
undefeated Heavyweights were on display as Efe Ajagba
(11-0, 9 KOs) of Nigeria took on Ali Eren Demirezen
(11-1, 10KOs) of Turkey in a schedule 10 round contest.
The fight went the full distance and it came back
unanimous as Judge Steve Weisfeld had it scored 97-93
and Judges, Adalaide Byrd and John McKaie had it the
same at 99-91 for the winner and still undefeated, Efe
NON TELEVISED RESULTS
Abel Ramos TKO 4 Jimmy Williams –Welterweights
Genisis Libranza TKO 4 Carlos Maldonado- Flyweights
John Leo Dato TKO 5 Juan Antonio Lopez-Featherweights
Timekeepers: Steve Esposito and Steve Mazzagatti
Ringside Doctors: Lead: Jay Coates, 2nd Anthony
Ruggeroli, 3rds David Watson and Damon Zavala
Executive Director: Bob Bennett
Chairman: Anthony A. Marnell, III
Commissioners: Staci Alonso, Christopher Ault, Dallas E.
Hahn, Dr. Rober McBeath