By: Hans Themistode
There is a lot on the line for Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman isn’t there? These two will square off on July 20th, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A win for either man could propel each of their careers to new heights, while a loss would be detrimental.
That seems like a mouthful for both of these fighters. In the case of Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) the notion of him coming up short in his showdown with Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) as a death nail in his proverbial coffin seems like a stretch. With 70 pro fights under his belt, what more does he have to prove? Nothing, to be quite frank.
The Filipino born star, is boxings first and only eight division world champion. Listing all of his accomplishments would take an absorbent amount of time. The best way to sum up the career of the fighter nicknamed Pac-Man is simple. He is an all-time great fighter.
At one point, much like Pacquiao, Thurman was considered not just the best fighter at the Welterweight division, but one of the very best fighters in the world. Injuries and long spells of inactivity have wiped Thurman away from those conversations. Still, when the undefeated WBA Welterweight champion is fully motivated, he can defeat anyone.
Both of these men have plenty to gain from winning this contest, but it is Thurman who has even more to lose.
At the age of 40, Pacquiao is thought to have lost a step or two. Sure he looked terrific in defeating Adrien Broner in his last ring appearance but, Broner has never quite lived up to the hype that had once surrounded his career. What would a loss at the hands of Thurman mean for Pac-Man?
Pacquiao is not a fighter that is looking to preserve a perfect record. His resume has already been tainted with losses, albeit to other all-time great fighters as well. Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez Erik Morales and Tim Bradley Jr (although highly controversial) are losses that are plastered across his record. Would a loss this Saturday night against Keith Thurman, severely damage his legacy? The answer is no.
At the age of 40, Pacquiao is still one of the elite fighters currently in the sport of boxing. You can hear the excuses already can’t you? Thurman was too big, too strong and too young for the much older Pacquiao who is 10 years his senior. Although you can expect Pacquiao too make no excuses in the event that he loses, he will undoubtedly and deservingly so receive a pass.
Should Thurman end up on the losing side of their encounter however, you can expect his critics to come out in droves.
Typically a fighters prime is consider to be in their late 20s to about their early 30s. Thurman is right smack in the middle of his. The WBA champion also has several physical advantages including height and reach. With so much already in his favor, a loss would effectively eliminate Thurman from any discussions as the best at his weight class. Let’s also not forget that at just the age of 30, Thurman is expected to do more in his career going forward. Pac-Man on the other hand is at the end of his.
Let’s put it this way. With a win, Manny Pacquiao is a lock for the hall of fame, with a loss, Pacquiao is still a lock for the hall of fame. He has done everything that you can think of in the sport of boxing. For Thurman this just isn’t the case. Win, lose or draw he is no lock for the hall when it is all said and done, but he would be banging on the door with a victory come Saturday night.
We have seen Pacquiao bounce back from devastating losses before. At this point, a loss for Thurman would spell the end for him as a championship threat and force in the division.
Thurman goes by the ring alias “One Time.” Come Saturday night, if he fails to defeat Manny Pacquiao, his career will go down the drain in “No Time.”