Mindanao Times

No Thurman rematch as Pacquiao eyes other welterweig­hts


MANILA – The camp of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao has shot down the possibilit­y of a rematch against Keith Thurman, after the American fighter claimed that their fight last month should have been a draw.

Pacquiao knocked down Thurman in the first round en route to claiming a split decision when they fought last month, in the process seizing Thurman's WBA welterweig­ht championsh­ip.

In a recent interview, Thurman declared himself "ready for the rematch."

"I might have to go the Philippine­s and we'll need to talk in person. I might have to do that," he also said.

But Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotions, laughed off the notion.

"That's great. Good for him," Gibbons said during the PSA Forum on Tuesday, when informed of Thurman's request for a rematch.

"He had his opportunit­y. He had his shot. If he had stepped up the gas a little more, he wouldn't have to ask for the rematch, we would be asking him," he pointed out.

For Gibbons, there is no reason to do a rematch against Thurman, as there is very little public outcry for one. Moreover, Pacquiao was the clear winner of the fight, despite settling for a split decision.

"There was no controvers­y outside," he said. "I don't blame Keith. Keith would like to have a rematch because it was a quality fight, but there was no controvers­y at the end of the day on who won that fight."

Gibbons similarly shot down a potential rematch with Australia's Jeff Horn, who very controvers­ially defeated Pacquiao in 2017 when they fought in Brisbane.

Rather than running those fights back, Gibbons and Team Pacquiao are moving forward and eyeing other names in the welterweig­ht division.

"We're looking at everybody," he said, naming Shaun Porter and Danny Garcia as among potential opponents for Pacquiao.

"The senator is not in it for the next 10 years – he's in it for the next year, two years at the most. He needs to fix the right fights and keep moving on," Gibbons added. "There are other guys out there to fight."

The plan is for Pacquiao to return by the first quarter of 2020, said Gibbons. In the meantime, Pacquiao is on a "victory lap."

"We're just going to enjoy this victory for a while," said Gibbons.

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