There is just one week left before Senator Manny Pacquiao once again climbs into the boxing ring for his latest fight as the People’s Champ of the Filipino people, and the stakes perhaps have never been higher. His American opponent, Keith Thurman has one specific goal in mind. While past Pacquiao opponents have generally talked of beating the one-time Eight-Division World Boxing Champion decisively, Thurman has emphasized his goal of permanently retiring the Pambansang Kamao from the sport he intends to give his whole lifetime. Manny has let his foe talk his talk as he prepares for Saturday night/Sunday morning, when the two will clash for Thurman’s title in Vegas.
Inquirer.net reports that Manny Pacquiao is already raring to go against Keith Thurman for the latter’s WBA (Super) Welterweight title on the so-billed “Welterweight Supremacy” fight card. The fighting Senator was back in California’s Wild Card Gym for more training this past Saturday, July 13, but by this point he feels he is sufficiently motivated to take on the trash-talking American already. For his weekend training routine the Filipino Pride engaged in two three-round sparring matches with A.B. Lopez and Jessie Roman, and then hit the mitts for six rounds.
While supremely confident, Manny is also well aware of his opponent’s fight record. Thurman is undefeated at 29 fights, 22 won by way of knockout. It is these stats that he has been counting on to prove his word of being able to retire Pacquiao, to the point that he had bet $10,000 on himself to win in that manner. Boxing analysts however are not too sure of his KO chances according to ABS-CBN News. Filipino referee Danrex Tapdasan notes that despite Thurman’s stoppage figure, five of his six most recent bouts went the distance, with all his impressive KO’s being from his earlier days.
Commentator Ed Tolentino adds that Keith Thurman runs the risk of falling for a psychological effect of Manny Pacquiao’s fighting style, where the Pac-Man could start the match as an active aggressor, irritating the American into forgoing any tactical boxing and instead trade punches with him. Tolentino observes that should Thurman be goaded into a straight brawl then Pacquiao will dominate him just as he did Adrien Broner just this January at the MGM Grand, which led to a unanimous decision victory. That is the same venue as the match with Thurman, something he will need to take mind of.
The Pacquiao vs. Thurman fight “Welterweight Supremacy” for the WBA Super Welterweight championship will be fought on the evening of July 20 at the MGM Grand in the US, which will be Sunday morning, or July 21 for Philippine audiences.
Image courtesy of Sports Inquirer