Keith Thurman Calls Out Manny Pacquiao
By: Sean Crose
“Hey @mannypacquiao: If everyone else don’t want it, we can dance!
Let’s give the fans a real prizefight? #OneTime”
These words were Tweeted on Friday by the one and only Keith “One Time” Thurman, the 27-0 WBA welterweight champion. Yes, there’s actually a name fighter out there who still appears to be ready, willing and able to fight the iconic 58-6-2 Manny Pacquiao. Lately, it’s seemed that only Tim Bradley was able to fit that description. Thurman, though, seems at least to be an ambitious type, which, frankly, is rather strange in this modern era of the boxing game, where business maneuvers appear to trump all else.
Sure enough, the brash Adrien Broner reportedly priced himself out of a fight with Pacquiao a short time ago. What’s more, Danny Garcia was said to have recently claimed his team turned down a Pacquiao fight, as well (though Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum claims no offer was sent Garcia’s way). Indeed, it looks like many young boxers of note want high end pay checks without having first engaged in high end fights. That, ultimately, is the truth, whether you support that particular position or not. Thurman, though, is a horse of another color. He’d also make quite an opponent for the Filipino senator.
For Thurman is a fighter on the rise. Young, strong, skilled and colorful, the Florida native also has a personality to match his considerable ring ability. Sure enough, Thurman is nothing if not a free spirit, someone who looks like he could fit in as well at a poetry jam as he does in the prize ring. A throwdown with Pacquiao would not only be an interesting match, it would be an interesting pairing of personalities, as well. In short, it would be pay per view worthy stuff. Which, of course, is why some people feel the fight will never happen.
Indeed, this is the era of Canelo Alvarez versus Liam Smith, and of Billy Joe Saunders versus…well, who IS he fighting? Needless to say, fans have a reason not to believe Thurman’s call will be answered by team Pacquiao. In fact, there’s a million reasons to believe this fight just won’t be made, period. In a sense, it’s almost too good to be true in boxing’s current culture, where the fans – let’s face it – count for little, if anything at all.
Yet, fans can still dream, can’t they?