By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) has been in some big fights in his career. Two match ups against Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia pushed him to near stardom and gave him the sort of experience you just can’t buy. Those experiences however, won’t compare to what he has ahead of him as a showdown with Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) is just a few short days away.
As we get closer, more and more experts as well as fans are backing Pacquiao to get it done against the fighter nicknamed “One Time”. No matter how much he has prepared, there is just no way to get ready for someone like Pacquiao. It’ll be a tough contest for Thurman, but one he can easily win. All he has to do is follow our keys and it will surely lead him to victory.
Set And Keep A Fast Pace
Thurman always comes out of the gates on fire. In his 2017, unification contest against Danny Garcia, he set the tone for the first half of the contest by landing some huge bombs. The second half of that fight saw Thurmans pace slow down considerably. Even in his last ring appearance, after being away from the sport of boxing while recovering from injury, he still employed the same game plan. A second round knockdown and dominant first half, really set the tempo for Thurman. Yet again, the second half of the contest was a bit shaky as he was hurt several times.
If Thurman can keep his pace consistent for both the first and second half of the fight, he should be able to run right through Manny Pacquiao. At the age of 40, Pacquiao hasn’t exactly shown signs of slowing down. With that being said, it will be difficult for him to keep up a frantic pace if Thurman chooses to push the tempo for the entire contest.
Go Down To The Body
Hardly any of Pacquiao’s opponents ever go to his body. Why is that? Pacquiao uses a ton of movement when he fights. Also at just five feet five inches, his smaller, more compact body could make it difficult to successfully attack his midsection, but still, no one has really kept a consistent attack down there.
The fighter nicked named Pac-Man has been stopped three times in his career, but those should come with an asterisk attached to them. Only once has he been stopped as this current version of himself, as the other two came at an early point in his career. With 70 fights under his belt, it’s safe to say that Pac-Man can take a punch.
Moving from side to side with a continual high energy rate can be a problem for Thurman, he needs to slow his man down. As hall of famer Teddy Atlas would say “put some water in the basement.” Or in other words. If you want to slow a guy down, go down to the body. That is exactly what Thurman should do.
Stay Off The Ropes
Thurman loves to hit and move. He’s terrific at it, but he does find himself having a few issues at times. During his matches, Thurman typically finds himself trapped against the ropes and having to fight himself off of them. Laying back on the ropes is the last place that Thurman wants to be when he’s facing Pacquiao. Once there, that’s when Pac-Man does his best work, usually letting off about a ten punch combination which gets the fans behind him and looks good for the judges.
Pacquiao is already the favorite going in. The last thing Thurman needs is the perception, although it may not be true, that Pacquiao is controlling the fight. Simply put, if he stay off the ropes Keith Thurman will keep his undefeated record intact.