Manny Pacquiao knocked down Keith Thurman in the first round and persevered for an exciting split-decision victory on Saturday night, adding a third straight win to his career resurgence after turning 40 years old.
Pacquiao (62-7-2) dropped his previously unbeaten opponent with a combination late in the first round, and the Pac-Man dominated the opening rounds with a combination of flair and power that recalled the incredible prime of the only eight-division champion in boxing history.
Thurman (29-1) showed remarkable tenacity in rallying through the middle rounds, repeatedly testing Pacquiao's chin with big shots.
Neither fighter managed another knockdown, but they pushed relentlessly in front of a sellout crowd at the MGM Grand Garden that repeatedly chanted the Filipino senator's name from the moment he reached the ring.
'It was fun,' Pacquiao said. 'My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong. I think he did his best, and I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight.'
Two judges scored the bout 115-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Feldman scored it 114-113 for Thurman.
Pacquiao appeared to be declining as recently as two years ago, when he lost a listless decision to Jeff Horn.
But while his political career flourished, Pacquiao returned to the ring a year ago and put together solid back-to-back victories over Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner.
Thurman represented another major step up in competition to rejoin the welterweight elite - and Pacquiao bolted out of the gate to show he was worthy of this match-up between two fighters who owned versions of the WBA welterweight title.