Manny Pacquiao’s Keys To Victory Against Keith Thurman
By: Hans Themistode
As it currently stands, Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman is undoubtedly the biggest fights of the year. It also will be one of the toughest in the long career of Pacquiao as well. When this fight was first announced, Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) was the betting favorite. The rabid fanbase of Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) has since changed that.
Pacquiao might be viewed as the favorite going into this contest according to the odds, but make no mistake about it, he will have several disadvantages including height, speed and a decided 10 year difference in age. For any other fighter, these unfavorable circumstances would prove to be too much to overcome, but not for Pacquiao. The fighter nicknamed Pac-Man has plenty of paths to victory.
Continue reading as we highlight the three most important keys that will lead to his victory over Keith Thurman on July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cut Off The Ring
For all of Thurmans bravado coming into this contest, his natural tendencies as a fighter just does not match up with what he has been saying. Thurman has promised to bring the fight right to Manny but, if you have been watching Thurman for the entirety of his career then you will know that he isn’t exactly a knockout artist. He’s more of a boxer puncher. Thurman does have plenty of power but he would much rather use the entirety of the ring to make his opponents work.
Thurman has called Pacquiao a bunny rabbit because of his in and out nonstop movement. In actuality, it’s Thurman who moves continually during his contest. Pac-Man needs to neutralize that. If he can get his man in the corners of the ring or against the ropes then that will give him a chance to do what he does best, let his hands go.
Whether The Early Storm
The WBA Welterweight champion Keith Thurman has shown a tendency to get off too fast starts. He is a terrific fighter for the first half of fights. During the second half however, he tends to take his foot off the gas.
The reason behind this strategy is that he likes to build an early lead on the scorecards of the judges and coast to victory. When the championship rounds arrive, he’ll usually steal one of those rounds which will aide in his victory. Just ask Danny Garcia how effective this strategy is. During that unification contest which took place in 2017, Thurman dominated the first half of the action and coasted during the second half, picking up another round or two along the way which made it impossible for Garcia to win. Pacquiao needs to fight fire with fire. If the eight division world champion could at the very least battle Thurman to a draw during the first half of the fight, he should be able to dominate the back end of it.
Hurt Thurman Early
The theme of Thurmans game plan, at least the game plan he has revealed to the media, is roughing up Pac-Man. Thurman has condemned Pacquiao for struggling with the physicality of Jeff Horn. Although most of the boxing world believes that Pacquiao was unjustly given a loss during that contest, he did have a bit of a hard time with the rugged approach of Horn.
Let’s not forget that Pacquiao did almost have his man out in the ninth round. If Thurman truly intends to be physical than Pac-Man needs to get his respect early. If Pacquiao is able to buzz him, then Thurman might think twice about just trying to bulldoze the smaller Pacquiao.
Every Title Fight of Keith Thurman Broken Down
By: Hans Themistode
With twenty nine bouts and nine of those coming in the form of title fights, including eight defenses, WBA Welterweight belt holder Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) has a plethora of experience to rely on. He’ll need every bit of it as he takes on Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) on July 20th, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Thurman took a trip down memory lane as he gave a complete breakdown of how each of those nine title fights went down.
10th Round Stoppage Over Diego Chaves On July 27th, 2013, AT&T Center, San Antonio Texas
Thurmans first crack at a world title came of the interim variety. On July 27th, 2013, Thurman took on the undefeated Diego Chaves. The aforementioned Chaves wasn’t just defeating opponents, he was steamrolling them as he was riding a five fight knockout streak going into that contest. Thurman rose to the occasion and put on a show.
“The Diego Chaves fight was the biggest fight of my career, elevation me to the WBA interim champion,” recalled Thurman. “ I broke him down round by round and landed a beautiful body shot in the ninth round and after that it was a matter of time. That was a fight that earned me worldwide respect and was the start of everything for me.”
TKO 9 Jesus Soto Karass, December 14, 2013, Alamodome, San Antonio
Thurman’s first defense of the interim title came against Jesus Soto Karass. He booked his spot against Thurman by stopping former champion Andre Berto in his previous contest. In that bout Thurman made a statement to the boxing world.
“Soto Karass was coming off a victory over Andre Berto which made it an important measuring stick fight for me,” said Thurman, “He did open the fight by tagging me in the first round, but I dropped him in the fifth and again in the ninth and was able to finish him off for my first title defense.”
Knockout 3rd round, Julio Diaz, April 26, 2014, StubHub Center, Carson, California
Thurman kept his momentum rolling in his second title defense against former champion Julio Diaz. What ensued was an emphatic victory for the young undefeated champion.
“That was a tremendous fight for me as the headliner in my first main event,” said Thurman. “Diaz was coming off of good showings against Shawn Porter, fighting Porter to a draw once, and Amir Khan, whom he dropped in their fight. I also had the opportunity to make a statement. I did that by stopping him in only three rounds.”
Decision Over Leonard Bundu, December 13, 2014, the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas:
Leonard Bundu was next on the list for Thurman. At the time, he was an undefeated awkward fighter. At the age of 40, Thurman had a clear advantage in terms of youth. He used every bit of that edge and rolled to an easy victory.
“Bundu was a switch-hitting awkward fighter. I switched [to southpaw] on him in the first round and dropped him with a right hand,” said Thurman. “I out boxed him and really gave the world a taste of how good of a boxer I am. It was an easy blowout.”
Decision Win over Robert Guerrero, March 7, 2015, the MGM Grand Grand Garden Arena
Former Welterweight champion Robert Guerrero, has always been a tough out. Questions surrounding Thurmans toughness were quickly answered. Not only did he overcome an absurd hematoma but he also managed to drop the former champion and ultimately cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
“Guerrero had fought Floyd Mayweather and I was happy to have a common opponent with Floyd, so that I could prove to the world that I deserved a shot at Mayweather,” said Thurman. “I had to overcome that adversity of having that hematoma by knocking him down in the ninth round. That fight really raised my stock to another level.”
7th Round Corner Stoppage Over Luis Collazo, July 11, 2015, USF Sundome, Tampa:
A 2015 matchup against former champion Luis Collazo, allowed the boxing world to see Thurman like never before. A body shot from Collazo in the fifth round saw Thurman in serious trouble. It was the first time that he was in serious trouble. Instead of folding, he bit down on his mouthpiece and gutted out an impressive stoppage win.
“I was able to survive that body shot to perform in the next round. The fight was taking its toll on him though. I was becoming more comfortable and accurate as I physically broke him down,” said Thurman. “The arena was electric, and the love was amazing. It was a great homecoming to defend my world title near where I grew up in Clearwater, Florida.”
Decision Win Over Shawn Porter, June 25, 2016, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
Shawn Porter came into this contest well known for his aggressive, come forward style. At this point in his career, it seemed as though it would be Thurmans toughest match yet. The contest proved to be just that. Not only did the contest live up to the hype but it also won fight of the year.
“Our fight was tough, back and forth, but by no means was Shawn Porter going to take my title,” said Thurman. “I pushed myself over the final rounds to make sure I’d be victorious in what was one of the ‘Fight of The Year’ contenders that year. That fight proved to everyone that I can win any type of fight, against any type of fighter.”
Split Decision Win Over Danny Garcia, Unification Match, March 4, 2017, Barclays Center
Thurman unified his WBA and WBC title on on March 4th, 2017, then undefeated Danny Garcia and also undefeated Keith Thurman clashed at the Barclay Center. Not only was it the tenth unification clash in the history of the Welterweight division, but it was also just the third time that it came against two undefeated fighters. After a close twelve rounds of fighting, it was Thurman who was victorious.
“This was two undefeated welterweights going toe-to-toe in the prime of their careers. Danny Garcia’s a sharp puncher who won the WBC’s vacant title that Floyd Mayweather gave up for retirement,” said Thurman. “But after beating Shawn Porter, I knew Danny would be an easy fight. This was my first chance to beat an undefeated world champion, and I came out swinging on him in round one to make a statement that his world title was about to be mine.”
Majority Decision Win Over Josesito Lopez, January 26, 2019, Barclays Center
Following the two biggest wins of his career, Thurman was forced to the sidelines with elbow and hand injuries. The former resulting in elbow surgery. After a 22 month recuperation period, Thurman took on veteran fighter Josesito Lopez. It looked like nothing more than a simple tune up bout. One that would make Thurman look good. It turned out to be anything but.
“I was really nervous about making weight after walking around at 182 for the past two years,” said Thurman. “But even though I got hit and hurt in the seventh round, I knew my boxing ability would get me through. It was a relief to make it through that fight feeling strong and healthy and I’ve taken those feelings right into this training camp.”
With all of this experience in the memory bank of Thurman, he plans on using it to his advantage come fight night against Manny Pacquiao. A win, is not good enough for Thurman. He wants to make a statement that resonates loud and clear to the rest of the Welterweight division.
“Does Manny belong in the ring with a fighter in his prime? Is Keith Thurman still Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman after some vulnerability against Josesito Lopez?” said Thurman, rhetorically speaking. “Of course, I’d like to get the knockout or TKO, but either way, you’re going to see a world class performance that has me standing alone on top of a division that has so many great fighters. I’m trying to be that great, devastating champion once again, and come July 20, I will prove that I am.”
Keith Thurman Discusses Manny Pacquiao Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
WBA Welterweight champ Keith Thurman has a big task in front of him. With just over a week left til his showdown with Manny Pacquiao, Thurman took a little bit of time to address the media during a recent conference call.
For the undefeated Thurman, to say that he has not been very active would be putting it mildly. Before making a successful return, albeit a lackluster one against veteran fighter Josesito Lopez, Thurman was absent from the ring for 22 months. An elbow injury, followed by a bruised hand was the reasoning behind it.
Before going down with injuries, Thurman was the face of the division. Now that he is back, he is looking to reassert himself as the man to beat at 147. His bout against Lopez showed that undefeated title holder had a long way to go before he could fully return to form.
In that bout he was stunned and almost stopped in the seventh round. Not like exactly the results Thurman was looking for. Still, he managed to get away with the victory and is fully expecting a much better version of himself when he takes on the future hall of famer and fighting senator Manny Pacquiao on July 20th, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
His showdown with Pacquiao is one that was a bit unexpected. There is a growing assumption that this bout is only taking place because of a level of vulnerability that Thurman showed in his last contest. That doesn’t matter to Thurman, he has the fight he’s always wanted and could care less why it materialized.
“That’s been the talk of the town,” said Thurman. “Since I didn’t look as sharp against Lopez like people are used to seeing that maybe the reason why Pacquiao choose me, but at the end of the day who cares?”
In terms of any nerves he could be possibly feeling heading into the biggest contest of his career, there isn’t any. Pacquiao doesn’t just have arguably the best resume of anyone in the sport of boxing today, but his resume rivals that of anyone in history. Thurman, to his credit, has his own impressive accolades. One that he feels carries its own weight.
“Everyone keeps talking about the resume of Pacquiao but what about Keith Thurman? Last I checked, Keith Thurman has the best resume at 147. Two years away from the game and I still have the best resume. I am one of the best fighters in the world.”
The notion that Thurman has the best resume at 147 is debatable. One thing that isn’t debatable however, is that this contest is sure to bring fireworks. For all of his bravado and trash talking of the legend, Thurman did acknowledge just how special this moment is for him.
“This an amazing opportunity, it’s as if I’m fighting Sugar Ray Leonard himself. It’s as if I’m fighting Roberto Duran. This is Manny Pacquiao we’re talking about here. This is a tremendous feeling and it will feel even better when my hand is raised at the end of the night.”
Thurman is correct in his assessment. Pacquiao is a legend that has earned his place amongst the pantheon of greats. With a victory, Thurman will begin to etch his own name in history.
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach Discuss Keith Thurman Contest
By: Hans Themistode
Manny Pacquiao is many things. A philanthropist, the senator to his home country in the Philippines, the only eight division world champion and a boxing legend.
Angry and easily riled up are words that don’t associate with the man nicknamed Pac Man.
As Pacquiao continues to train for his July 20th showdown with undefeated WBA Welterweight title holder Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), he is pissed.
During the build up to their matchup, Thurman has said over and over that he is going to put Pac Man to sleep. Even going as far as to say that he won’t be able to make it to the sixth round. If you ask Thurman, he’ll tell you that he is in no way trying to disrespect his opponent. He is simply pontificating himself in the best way he knows how. Pacquiao, on the other hand, is exasperated.
“I’m just so motivated for this fight. He’s talks too much, but when he gets in the ring with me it will be a different story. He’s even gotten my mom upset, so yeah I am very motivated.”
The cautionary tale of Ricky Hatton comes to mind. Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), dismantled the former world champion in two rounds when they matched up back in May of 2009. It was quick, swift and harsh. That is the level of drubbing, that Pacquiao is looking to unleash come fight night.
“I have not been this motivated since the Ricky Hatton fight. I am always motivated for every contest but this is a little extra.”
Trying to bait the eight division champion champion into giving a brash statement is unlikely. His trainer, hall of famer Freddie Roach, has no such issues.
“We’re going to knock him out,” said Roach. “I think he can take a punch but if he comes looking for a fight and looking to exchange like he’s been saying then we’ll knock him out.”
Roach ended his segment of the interview by telling the world his views on Thurman, or “One Time” as he has been known to go by, for his tendency of ending his contest with just one blow.
“He’s a good fighter, but nothing that we haven’t seen before,” said Roach. “It’s one time vs all-time.”
Manny Pacquiao Is Facing His Toughest Opponent Ever In Keith Thurman
By: Hans Themistode
Its been a long and storied career for Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs). Arguably no one in the history of boxing has a better resume, as it is littered with hall of famer after hall of famer. The boxer turned Filipino Senator has won world titles in a record eight weight division.
Come July 20th in Las Vegas, Nevada he will have the toughest test of his career. On that night he will be taking on the undefeated WBA Welterweight champion Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs). The aforementioned Thurman isn’t quite a hall of famer but he is a legitimate great fighter that is in the prime of his career.
Pacquiao has faced a who’s who of fighters. His four fights with Juan Manuel Marquez were all classic battles. Marquez, who is a four division world champion and surefire lock to get into the hall of fame, only managed to get one victory from Pacquiao. How about Erik Morales? Again, another absolute lock for the hall, managed to defeat Pacquiao once in their three battles with one another. Pacquiao put an end to their rivalry with a third round knockout win in their last contest, proving that he is the superior fighter between the two.
Marco Antonio Barrera entered the ring twice against Pacquiao and both times he failed to get his hand raised after the bout. Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Timothy Bradley Jr, Shane Mosley and of course, the one and only Floyd Mayweather have stepped inside of the squared circle with the eight division world champion. Pacquiao didn’t always leave with the victory but he always battled to the end. In fact, of those names that were just rattled off, only Floyd Mayweather managed to remain unbeaten against the Filipino star.
Does Keith Thurman deserve a spot amongst this illustrious group? Take nothing away from the career Thurman has put together thus far, but he does not. With that being said however, he is slowly but surely making his own path to the hall of fame. Victories over Robert Guerrero, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia have proven his level of greatness in this current day and age.
When compared to the other great Welterweights of his current class including Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter, Thurman has put together a resume that trumps all of theirs.
Although Thurman wont be the best fighter Pacquiao has faced, he will be the most difficult when considering the circumstances. When Manny faced his murderous row of competition, he was roughly around the same age of his competitors. In the case of his July 20th opponent Keith Thurman, Pacquiao will have a decided age disadvantage of 10 years, 40 years of age compared to just 30 years of age for Thurman.
The eight division world champion has never ducked a challenge. Come fight night, he will rely on his experience and skill to overcome his much younger opponent. Let’s be clear, this contest is not a mismatch. It’s a testament to the skill that Pacquiao possesses to still be able to compete at an elite level even into his 40s.
On paper, this won’t be the toughest bout of his career however, make no mistake about it, Pacquiao will have to push himself to the limit to secure this victory. Keith Thurman will prove to be the toughest test of his hall of fame career.
The Welterweight Picture, and Where Keith Thurman Fits Into It
By: Jonah Dylan
Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao have been promoting their July 20 welterweight world title fight this week, so, understandably, they’ve been trying to say stuff that’ll get picked up in the mainstream media. When Thurman (29-0, 22 Kos) was asked if he’d fight again this year, he had an interesting response.
“No sir, no sir,” he said. “We get this job done, shoot, we’ve gotta relax.”
It’s a concerning comment from a guy who’s been infamously inactive over the last two years. After he won a split decision over Danny Garcia in March 2017 to unify two titles, he didn’t fight again for 22 months before he returned with a shaky majority decision win over Josesito Lopez in January. Seeing him turnaround relatively quick for the Pacquiao fight was a good sign, but not if he doesn’t stay active after it.
This isn’t to write Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) off, either. Obviously the guy is one of the greatest fighters of all time and still looks like a good fighter, even if he’s clearly not the fighter he once was. It’s very possible he could beat Thurman, especially considering the trouble Lopez – not considered a top-flight contender – gave him back in January.
In some sense, this fight is a no-win scenario for Thurman. If he wins, well, he just beat a 40-year-old guy whose career is on its last legs. If he loses, he just lost to a guy who no one thinks is in the same league as Terence Crawford or Errol Spence, and realistically Thurman would have a lot more work to do to rehabilitate his image as the best welterweight in the world.
It’s easy to forget, but it wasn’t that long ago that everyone had Thurman as their top guy in the division. Then Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) burst onto the scene when he knocked out Kell Brook to win a piece of the welterweight title and suddenly became arguably the most avoided fighter in the division. A couple months later, Crawford vacated his undisputed super lightweight crown to enter the mix and later won a world title in his first fight at 147 pounds.
Without fighting, Thurman went from being the No. 1 guy in the division to someone who isn’t even a real part of the conversation. Pacquiao probably picked him due in no small part to how beatable he looked against Lopez, and the fact that he doesn’t look nearly as dangerous as Spence in terms of his power (“One Time” nickname aside).
The fight everyone wants to see is Spence against Crawford, but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Spence against Shawn Porter – a guy Thurman already beat – makes sense, and it’ll give Spence more leverage when he’s ready to actually negotiate with Crawford. The fight is also reportedly already in the works for late summer or early fall.
After that, Spence could opt to fight the Thurman-Pacquiao winner to get another belt (and continue #StrapSzn, as he says). Or he could fight Garcia, or Yordenis Ugas, or Sergey Lipenets, all solid welterweights under the PBC banner. Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) has no one to fight, and as time goes on, he needs Spence more and more.
But this is where Thurman could come back into the picture. Let’s say he beats Pacquiao, and Spence takes out Porter and unifies titles. The next obvious fight would be Thurman against Spence, but if Thurman really doesn’t want the Spence fight, he could actually circumvent the whole process and try to get the Crawford fight for himself. Think about it: Top Rank is going to be desperate for Crawford opponents, and Thurman (especially an undefeated Thurman with a belt) would be a good one. They want one of the PBC welterweights, and he fits the bill.
Thurman could make a lot of money to go fight Crawford. This time, it’d be a win-win scenario. If he wins, he just went to the other side of the street and took down arguably the best fighter in the world. If he loses, he can say he was the one who was truly willing to fight anyone, not Spence. It would also justify his layoff if he actually fought top-level opposition in the near future. As an added bonus for fans, Crawford and Spence would both have two belts and that fight would be even more appealing.
This is still unlikely, for a number of reasons. For one, there’s no indication that Al Haymon is going to send any of his welterweights to fight Crawford. If he did, it probably wouldn’t be Thurman. But who knows?
Thurman needs to build himself back up, and he needs to do that with consistent activity, not against B-level guys but against the best the 147-pound division has to offer.
Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman: Could a Loss Lead to Retirement?
By: Waqas Ali
Boxing’s only eight division titlist Manny Pacquiao has been in a battle of verbal exchanges with Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman over the possibility of retirement.
The pair are scheduled to meet in a welterweight clash on July 20 for a Fox pay-per-view event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Thurman (29-0) will be defending his WBA welterweight belt for a third time against Pacquiao and has vowed to end the Filipino’s career in retirement.
“If you understand boxing history, you know that times change,” Thurman said.
“Boxing is in a new era. Come July 20, Pacquiao will disappear. He’ll always be remembered in the sport, but I’m doing to Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya. I’m excited to be the guy who shows Manny Pacquiao where the exit is.”
The reference to De La Hoya was when Pacquiao retired the Mexican – American fighter in their 2008 bout. Pacquiao had moved up three weight classes for that bout.
But Pacquiao (61-7-2), who’s been a professional fighter for 24 years, insisted that he’s not ready to retire and will decide on his own terms.
“He’s saying things before we fight, but I will send a message to him in the ring about exactly who he’s fighting; he will come to know that,” Pacquiao said Wednesday as he and Thurman stopped at the Beverly Hills Hotel to promote their bout.
“No man can dictate when I’m going to retire.
“I’ve been in this sport two decades. Nobody intimidates me. Thurman should respect his elders, especially this elder.”
When the 40-year-old legend spoke to reporters at a press conference on Wednesday, they asked him on his thoughts regarding Thurman considering retirement, should he lose to Pacquiao, he simply said: “He will retire.”
There was a huge distinction from both fighters in their recent bouts.
Pacquiao fought former four-division titlist Adrien Broner in January and outclassed him for 12 rounds.
The speed. The timing and the footwork was executed really well and for most of the fight Broner could not respond to the punches utilised by Pacquiao.
According to Compubox, Pacquiao landed 112 of 568 punches (20 percent), and Broner connected on 50 of 295 (17 percent).
Many viewers and spectators at ringside felt that it was like the Pacquiao of old. For Broner, it was lowest amount of punches he’d ever landed going the 12 round distance.
Thurman on the other hand fought Josesito López and after a year and a half away from the ring he was pushed to his limits in this bout.
By Compubox statistics, Thurman landed 247 of 899 punches (27%), and Lopez connected on 117 of 513 (22%).
There were times in the fight where Thurman was troubled in the middle rounds and in particular rounds seven and eight.
Though he managed to survive and won on two of the three judges’ scorecards, it had raised doubts of the 30-year-old’s ability to defeat a man of experience like Pacquiao, who was already a 3-weight world champion when Thurman turned pro.
Regarding the purse for the bout, there has been no official confirmation of how much Thurman will be making but sources have indicated Pacquiao will be making at least $20 million for the bout.
This bout is a crucial one for both fighters as one could contemplate retirement higher than the other. Pacquiao in particular had not stated when he would retire specifically but a loss against Thurman could be the option for him.
A second fight with Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather would be a mega sell as boxing fans have been yearning for it since the first. It broke records in gate, television, tickets and purses. But neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao have come close to negotiations.
Thurman, however has stated that if he were to lose to The Fighting Pride of the Philippines, he would possibly consider commentating as a fighting analysis broadcaster.
“Pshh … probably,” Thurman said when asked about retiring if Pacquiao beats him.
“I’d at least think about it. I’d at least be like, ‘Can I do some more commentating or something? Can I do some more commentating?’ Momma said I look good in a suit. I don’t think she wants to see her boy get punched on TV. Getting beat up by an old man.”
It’s really doubtful that this could be the case considering that it would the one loss in his record and that he would still a lot in his ammunition to offer.
Especially when the welterweight division is packed with exceptional talent and potential rivals such Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter, Errol Spence Jr, Danny Garcia and Mikey Garcia.
Keith Thurman in Pursuit of Legends and Legendary Status
By: Kirk Jackson
The man known as “One Time” finally has his time across boxing’s biggest stage on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View. The date July 20th, 2019 is finally etched in stone, as former unified welterweight champion and current WBA (Super) welterweight champion Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KO’s), takes on eight-division and current WBA (Regular) welterweight champion, Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO’s).
For a large portion of his unblemished career, the Clearwater city-native chased the big fish. He famously chastised Floyd Mayweather (50-0, 27 KO’s) for years, although while managing to conveniently circumvent a looming, menacing, encounter with a shark in the form of current IBF welterweight champion, Errol Spence (25-0, 21 KO’s).
However, en route to unifying the WBA and WBC welterweight titles, Thurman conquered former multi-division world champion Robert Guerrero (35-6-1, 20 KO’s), along with a series of other former world titlists. Thurman culminated his quest, defeating current WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KO’s) and former two-division champion Danny Garcia (35-2, 21 KO’s), capturing the WBC welterweight title in a unification bout.
A series of nagging injuries, along with a string of personal events subsequently followed, keeping Keith on the shelf for approximately 22 months. After a successful return bout and bouncing back from nearly a two-year absence, Thurman finally reeled in the catch of a lifetime in the form of Pacquiao.
The question beckons, now that he finally has this once in a lifetime opportunity, can “One-Time” still live up to his moniker under the bright lights of Showtime? Its been a long-time since he delivered on his promise of “KO’s for life.”
Not everyone is Deontay Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KO’s); armed with a right hand possessing the power of Thor’s hammer. And knockouts are not necessary, as of course this is the “Sweet Science.”
But when the fighter professes his love of knock-outs, with several quotes referencing such,
knock-outs should be delivered.
The last time Thurman stopped an opponent was Dec 14, 2013 – stopping gritty Jesús Soto Karass on the undercard of Adrien Broner vs. Marcos Maidana.
In spite of the recent uphill battle, in his comeback bout after two years of inactivity against Josesito López, Thurman is still in a good position to end his KO-less streak against an aging fighter.
“I’m extremely excited for this opportunity to get a fight that I’ve wanted for a long time,” said Thurman at the Los Angeles Press Conference for Pacquiao-Thurman.
“The right circumstances have aligned for it to happen now and I’m grateful for that. Me and my team are looking forward to it. It’s going to be an honor to be in the ring with Manny Pacquiao. It’s going to be fun to go back to MGM Grand in my first pay-per-view with FOX Sports. I believe that Ben Getty would be very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish. He said I’d be able to dominate the welterweight division and be a multi-million-dollar fighter and a star in the sport.”
Thurman also eluded to weaknesses and deficiencies in Pacquiao’s style during the press conference.
“Manny Pacquiao is beatable. He’s been beaten before in his career. He’s a fan favorite and a legend. For me his boxing tactics are predictable. He fights in spurts and you have to take advantage of that. You have to be respectful of his power. But I believe my movement, athleticism and ring knowledge will be able to present him something he’s not seen in all his years of boxing.”
Thurman is in an interesting timeframe for boxing and for his weight class at welterweight. Regarded as one of boxing’s deepest divisions, match-ups of historic proportions remain a foreseeable possibility.
The champion from Clearwater, FL has the opportunity to align his stars with some of the greats of yesteryear and even with those of recent memory. Although the bulk of “One-Time’s” career is embedded in the pages of history, there are still many chapters left to unwind; meaning much is left to be determined and he has the opportunity to construct his legend.
Thurman believes his time is now and that with Pacquiao and Mayweather gone from the sport, it’ll leave him, Errol Spence, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter as the main guys in the 147-pound division.
The narrative of the eventual fight and the story is the already cemented legacy of Pacquiao, with Thurman chasing his footsteps. Although the focus is on one another, each fighter frequently mentioned in the past, and even still to this day, another legendary fighting potentially fighting into the equation.
“It’s really important to have a (rematch) with Floyd (Mayweather),” Pacquiao told FOX Sports’ Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe during a recent edition of Skip and Shannon: Undisputed on FS1. “Some fans still doubt who won the fight.”
“I still believe I deserved to win. But like I said, I respect the judges. It’s why we want the rematch though; people have a lot of question marks in their minds.”
Not certain many people doubt who truly won the fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather, nor is there much demand to the see the bout, as both fighters are in their 40s.
But as history indicates, whenever there’s a fight with Mayweather involved, typically it generates a lot of money for all parties involved.
Regarding Thurman, in speaking with Sporting News, he mentioned, “There were moments where I kind of knew Floyd (Mayweather) was not looking at me as an opponent toward the end of his career. One of those moments was when I became the WBA (Regular) champion and he became the [WBA] (Super) champion because the (Super) champion is not required to fight mandatories, so I could not force Floyd Mayweather in any position to step in the ring with me.”
“I just don’t think I was on Floyd’s to-do list and then I had a few minor setbacks – not the same as the elbow surgery, but some shoulder problems at that time,” Thurman added.
While referencing Pacquiao and Mayweather, it’s interesting analyzing and comparing Thurman’s career, to the two main legendary figures he is in pursuit of. It’s always fun to compare resumes and speculate right?
Keith Thurman: World Titles, World Title Fights and other feats
• WBA Welterweight (Interim/Regular) Title (July 27, 2013 – January 28, 2015; 5 defenses).
• WBA Welterweight (Super) Title (February 7, 2017 – present; 3 defenses).
• WBC Welterweight Title (March 4, 2017 – April 24, 2018; 0 defenses).
o Vacated WBC Welterweight Title in 2018.
(7-0, 3 KO’s) against world champions.
(5-0, 1 KO’s) in world title fights.
Notable opponents: Carlos Quintana, Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo, Shawn Porter, Robert Guerrero and Danny Garcia.
• Defeated 4 undefeated opponents with ten or more bouts.
• The Ring Magazine Prospect of the Year (2012).
• Winner of 2 World Titles.
Manny Pacquiao: World Titles, World Title Fights and other feats
• WBC World Flyweight Title (December 1998-September 1999; 1 defense).
• IBF World Super Bantamweight Title (June 2001-2003; 4 defenses).
• WBC World Super Featherweight Title (March 2008-July 2008; 0 defenses).
• WBC World Lightweight Title (June 2008-February 2009; 0 defenses).
• WBO (3) World Welterweight Title (November 2009-June 2012; 3 defenses, April 2014-May 2015; 1 defense, November 2016-present; 0 defenses).
• WBC World Super Welterweight Title (November 2010-February 2011; 0 defenses).
• WBA World Welterweight (Regular) Title (July 2018-present; 1 defense).
Ring Magazine Title
• World Featherweight Title (November 2003-March 2005; 2 defenses).
• World Junior Lightweight Title (March 2008-July 2008; 0 defenses).
• World Junior Welterweight Title (May 2009-July 2010; 0 defenses).
• World Flyweight Title (December 1998-September 1999).
• World Featherweight Title (November 2003-March 2005).
• World Junior Lightweight Title (March 2008-July 2008).
• World Junior Welterweight Title (May 2009-July 2010).
• World Welterweight Title (April 2016).
• Has a record of 18-4-2 (9 KO’s) in world title fights.
• Has a record of 24-6-2 (11 KO’s) against former, current, and future world champions.
• Has a record of 5-1 (4 KO’s)* against International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees.
** As of 2019.
Notable opponents: Juan Manuel Marquez (4), Erik Morales (3), Marco Antonio Barrera (2), Chatchai Singwangcha, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Timothy Bradley (3), Floyd Mayweather, Chris Algieri and Joshua Clottey.
• Only boxer with 5 Lineal Titles.
• Only boxer with world titles spanning across 8 divisions.
• Winner of 9 World Titles.
Floyd Mayweather: World Titles, World Title Fights and other feats
• WBC Super Featherweight Title (1998-2002; 8 defenses).
• WBC Lightweight Title (2002-2004; 3 defenses).
• WBC Super Lightweight Title (2005; 0 defenses).
• IBF Welterweight Title (2006; 0 defenses)
• WBC (2) Welterweight Title (2006-2008; 1 defense, 2011-2015; 5 defenses).
• WBC Super Welterweight Title (2), (2007; 0 defenses, 2013-2015; 1 defense).
• WBA Super Welterweight (Super) Title (2012-2016; 1 defense).
• WBA Welterweight (Super) Title (2014-2016; 3 defenses).
• WBO Welterweight Title (2015; 0 defenses)
• Unified Junior Middleweight Title (2013-2015; WBA, WBC).
• Unified Welterweight Title (2), (2014-2015; WBC, WBA, 2015; WBC, WBA, WBO).
• Simultaneously held WBC Welterweight Title and WBC Junior Middleweight Title (2007).
o Vacated WBC Junior Middleweight Title in 2007.
o Vacated WBC Welterweight Title in 2008.
• Simultaneously held WBC Welterweight Title and WBA Junior Middleweight Title (2012-2015).
• Simultaneously held WBC Welterweight Title and Unified Junior Middleweight Title (WBA, WBC) (2013-2015).
• Simultaneously held Unified Welterweight Title (WBC, WBA) and Unified Junior Middleweight Title (WBA, WBC) (2014-2015).
• Simultaneously held Unified Welterweight Title (WBC, WBA, WBO) and Unified Junior Middleweight Title (WBA, WBC) (2015).
o Stripped of WBO Welterweight Title in 2015.
o Vacated WBC Welterweight Title and WBC Junior Middleweight Title in 2015.
o Vacated WBA Welterweight Title and WBA Junior Middleweight Title in 2016.
The Ring Magazine Title
• World Lightweight Title (2002-2004).
• World Welterweight Title (2), (2006-2008, 2013-2015).
• World Junior Middleweight Title (2013-2015).
• World Junior Lightweight Title (1998-2002).
• World Lightweight Title (2002-2004).
• World Welterweight Title (2), (2006-2008, 2010-2015).
• World Junior Middleweight Title (2013-2015).
• (26-0, 10 KO’s) in world title fights.
• (23-0, 9 KO’s) in lineal title fights.
• (24-0, 7 KO’s) against world champions.
• Has a record of (13-0, 3 KO’s) against former or current lineal titlists.
• Has a record of (2-0, 1 KO’s)* against International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees.
** As of 2019.
Notable opponents: Genaro Hernandez, Zab Judah, Jesus Chavez, Angel Manfredy, Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Victor Ortiz, Ricky Hatton, Manny Pacquiao, Robert Guerrero, Arturo Gatti, Shamba Mitchell, DeMarcus Corley, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo (2), Marcos Maidana (2), Carlos Baldomir, Andre Berto and Canelo Alvarez.
• Fourth boxer to win a world title in at least five weight divisions (Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya).
• Second boxer to win a lineal title in at least four weight divisions (Manny Pacquiao).
• Holds the record for most world titles held simultaneously 5 (WBC, WBA, WBO Welterweight Titles and WBA, WBC Super Welterweight Titles).
• Olympic Bronze Medalist*
• Winner of 11 World Titles.
While comparing Thurman to Pacquiao and Mayweather by the numbers, it looks skewed heavily in favor of the legends. Albeit minor, there are discrepancies with some of the numbers.
For example, Thurman’s title defenses of his WBA (Regular) Welterweight Title are not tallied as official title defenses – at least according to Boxrec. However, that very same title (the world title Pacquiao currently covets) is listed as an official title defense against Adrien Broner across the very same site.
Another question is how the Lineal and The Ring titles are tallied. The Ring title, differing from the four sanctioning bodies (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO) awarded world title belts since 1922 and have their own championship policy. Again, minor details perhaps not truly important when grading fighters and their respective careers at the end of the day.
Nonetheless, it’s a tall mountain to climb for Thurman, if he truly intends to walk the same footprints traveled by his pugilistic predecessors.
“Manny Pacquiao fought Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao fought Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao fought ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley, so sharing the ring with Manny Pacquiao is like sharing the ring with all of these legends of the past.”
— Sporting News Fights (@sn_fights) May 21, 2019
It’s more than just sharing the ring with a legend. The truly great fighters, want to supplant the other great fighter rivaling them across the corner, each and every fight. Many don’t want to shine amongst the other great stars, they want to shine brighter; shine the brightest.
Come July, spectators will see which star illuminates brightest. The verdict is already out on Pacquiao, but the world will see how great Thurman truly is and if he can catch and surpass the legends he is chasing.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman and Caleb Plant vs. Mike Lee Los Angeles Press Conference Quotes
Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten welterweight world champion Keith Thurman, plus unbeaten super middleweight champion Caleb Plant and unbeaten Mike Lee,squared-off for the second day in a row Wednesday, this time at a Los Angeles press conference as they previewed their respective showdowns taking place Saturday July 20 presented by Premier Boxing Champions and FOX Sports from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao and Thurman will battle in a welterweight world title attraction that headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Plant will make the first defense of his title against the unbeaten Lee in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes preceding the Pay-Per-View and beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office. Plant vs. Lee is presented by TGB Promotions and Sweethands Promotions.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles:
“It’s easy for my opponents to talk before the fight, and I’m used to everything they say. But when we get to the ring, it changes, and it will change on July 20.
“I chose Keith Thurman because he’s a great fighter, he’s undefeated and because we can give a good fight to the fans. I want to make the fans happy on that night and show that I can still go toe-to-toe with any opponent.
“He said he’s young, but we’ll see who looks young in the ring on July 20. I’m going to let my fists say everything for me.
“We will work hard in training camp like always for this fight. We’re not going to take Keith Thurman lightly or underestimate him. He’s a world champion. I’m thankful for what he’s been saying, because it’s giving me motivation to prove that at 40-years-old, I feel 29.
“Keith Thurman is aggressive and throws a lot of punches. I’m hoping on July 20 he will follow through with what he says and fight toe-to-toe with me.
“The fans need to watch this fight because it’s a once in a lifetime fight. It’s going to be a Fight of the Year and full of action from start to finish. I’m ready to get it on July 20.
“Most of my opponents are bigger than me and I beat them all. When we get into the ring, it doesn’t matter. This has happened before and it will happen again against Thurman.
“My experience will be very important for this fight. It’s going to be useful against an undefeated fighter. I’m going to give him the experience of losing for the first time.
“I’m still having fun and enjoying the sport. I’m excited to go straight to the gym after this and start focusing on training for the fight.”
“It’s a blessing to be on this stage and have a fight of this magnitude. I’m an all-American fighter, an all-American champion and come July 20, I’m going to stay champion.
“Manny is a world class fighter. He’s a gentleman inside and outside of the ring. I look forward to trading punches with a living legend. But one thing’s for sure, he’s not walking away with my title.
“All Manny does is hop around in the ring. I’m not going to lose to a bunny rabbit. He’s not Tupac, but he does a little hip hop and he’s not going to stop until he gets dropped.
“Manny is a world class fighter, not a world class boxer. I’m going to trip him up in the ring and he won’t know what direction to turn to. I know who I am as a fighter, and it will be proven come July 20.
“I’m destroying the legend of Manny Pacquiao. His legacy ends on July 20 and mine begins. He’s an inspiration to many people throughout the world and everyone respects him, but I’m respectfully going to finish him.
“This is a big fight as far as the stage goes, but it’s a big fight against a little guy. He’s a veteran and I’ve dismantled veterans in the past. I believe I would have destroyed Manny Pacquiao five years ago. I’ve always been ready for this fight. He’s never fought someone like me with this kind of lateral movement, speed and power. I’m coming for him.
“I was in the gym four weeks ago starting some preparations. I wanted to get the ball rolling and use the momentum from my last training camp for this opportunity. Who better to showcase my skills and talent against than Manny Pacquiao? He chose me because it will be a guaranteed action fight.
“I think this is one of the best Manny Pacquiao fights in a long time. I’m going to bring it. Pacquiao did not get reminded in his last fight what it feels like to be up against a real champion. I’m the youngest, fastest, hungriest fighter that he’s ever been in the ring with. July 20, it’s the ‘Keith Thurman show’.”
“I never consider myself the A-side because my history says that I shouldn’t even be here. As beautiful as the belt is, it’s about more to me than that. It’s about legacy for me. I’ve been carrying myself as a world champion since the day I started this journey, so this is nothing new to me.
“I’m the whole package. I have speed, I have footwork, I have power, I have the heart and the will to win. Until you find someone else who’s all that, I’m going to keep having my hand raised.
“Where I’m from, there’s confrontation every day. This is nothing new to me. There are times I was told that I wouldn’t make it. Nobody paved the way for me like I’m from New York or Los Angeles. I paved my own way.
“Mike Lee is in uncharted territory. I’m curious on how he plans on beating me. Does he plan on roughing me up and trying to knock me out like my last opponent? Can he do that better than Jose Uzcategui? Is he going to try to outbox me with his hand and foot speed? Because there’s no person from 160 to 175 who could do that.
“I’ve been committed to the same thing for the last 18 years straight. Rain, sleet or snow, I stayed committed. I’m bred for this. I was created for this. It’s the only thing I’ve done my whole life. On July 20, I’ll be keeping the thing that I’ve worked my whole entire life for.
“At every decision that has to be made, you can go left or you can go right. From the genesis of my being, every time it was the moment to make a tough decision, I went the same way. Because I do not bend or fold for anything. No matter what’s tossed my way, this journey must go on for me. He said he has nothing to lose, but I have everything to lose.
“All the motivational videos that he watches and books that he reads, I’m the very essence and meaning of that. I’m the pinnacle of all those things he’s studied. You can’t learn mental fortitude in a book. Those things are earned, they’re not learned.”
“This is a dream come true for me. I’ve been through so much and there were days where I thought my dream was over. I’ve chased this since I was eight-years-old and I’m thankful for this chance to go after a dream that others thought I couldn’t reach.
“The beauty of this sport is that it’s only me and Caleb in there. Everyone else can only talk. I’ve been in the ring through adversity and stuck it out, because that’s the kind of person I am. I know that if I come on July 20 as the best Mike Lee possible, that I can win.
“I’ve been in the gym working every day. Doctors told me at one point that I wouldn’t fight again, but I’m still standing right here. I pushed through my pain to get here.
“I’m excited to be here in Los Angles, where we hold training camp. I’m bringing the belt back to Chicago, but Los Angeles is a second home to me.
“Today is the culmination of years of sacrifice, hard work and discipline. I’m undefeated for a reason but I feel people underestimate me and I like that. I’ve been underestimated my whole career. I’ve thrived off people say I couldn’t do it.
“I respect Caleb Plant. He’s the champion for a reason and I respect any fighter who can step into that ring. You have to be a different kind of animal to do that in front of all those people, and I am that animal.
“I’m coming with power, strength, speed and I’m going to give it everything I have. I’m going to become the new IBF Super Middleweight World Champion.”
RICHARD STURM, President of Las Vegas Live Entertainment & Sports
“I’d like to welcome back Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman, two of the world’s best fighters, back to Las Vegas and MGM Grand. Manny returns to the ring at MGM Grand following his convincing win in January while Keith will fight in Las Vegas for the first time in four years, looking to remain undefeated.
“We’re truly excited to be hosting this sensational event at MGM Grand and we look forward to seeing everybody in July.”
BILL WANGER, Executive Vice President of Programming, Research & Content Strategy for FOX Sports
“Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman is a living legend, versus a legend in the making. We’re excited to deliver an unprecedented night of boxing on July 20 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Manny is one of boxing’s biggest stars. Keith Thurman is an undefeated world champion and a huge ratings draw. We’re excited to bring viewers inside the ropes and up close to the action on fight night, and produce extensive behind the scenes preview programming that will air across the FOX networks.
“FOX Sports is thrilled to have a battle on July 20 with such a compelling storyline to kick off a great night of championship boxing with the IBF champion Caleb Plant against the undefeated Mike Lee.
“In January, Caleb Plant headlined the most-watched boxing event ever on FS1. Now he’s fighting on the FOX network for the first time as the main event. At FOX Sports, big events that capture America’s attention are in our DNA. This fight certainly fits that bill.
“Our goal with the PBC deal is to build these fighters into household names, and we’re well on our way. We expect a great show on July 20 in Las Vegas.”
Both Pacquiao And Thurman Exude Confidence At NYC Press Conference
By: Sean Crose
“I’ve never been scared of a challenge,” Manny Pacquiao said during a New York press conference on Tuesday to promote his July 20th WBA welterweight title bout against Keith Thurman. “I’m so excited for this fight against an undefeated champion. He’s the kind of fighter that you can’t underestimate. His record and success gives me more motivation to work hard.”
Pacquiao, the aging great, is now in his forties – in many ways a remnant from a bygone era. Thurman, on the other hand, is in his prime, poised to be a pay per view star (the Pacquiao-Thurman match will be aired live on Pay Per View from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas). Yet Pacquiao made it clear that he doesn’t intend to be on the receiving end of a passing of the torch ceremony.
“I will make sure that I’m 100 percent and ready for this fight,” the 61-7-2 ring legend claimed. “We’ll find out what happens on July 20, but it’s going to be exciting. I like being the underdog for this fight because that gives me more focus in training.” Pacquiao also made it clear that he’s taking the fight with Thurman with the utmost seriousness.
“I’ve been careless and over confident in some fights,” he admitted, “but this time around it’s different. Keith Thurman is a good fighter and we’re going to make sure the fans are happy on July 20.”
As for the 29-0 Thurman, the enigmatic fighter exuded both confidence and respect. “Pacquiao wants a challenge and I’m very grateful to be sharing a ring with a legend,” he said. “If you understand boxing history, you know that times change. I believe boxing is in a new era. Come July 20, Pacquiao will disappear. He’ll always be remembered in the sport, but I’m doing to Manny Pacquiao, what he did to Oscar De La Hoya.”
The Florida native indicated that he intends to be the man to take Pacquiao out of the fight game. “”I’m excited to be the guy who shows Manny Pacquiao where the exit is,” said Thurman. “He’s a legend who’s done great things. But I’ve never lost to a fighter who’s lost seven times. I have no intention of losing this fight and I don’t see him winning in any shape or form.”
“Speed, power and overall ring IQ will be the difference,” Thurman continued. “I’m one of the smartest fighters in the sport. I always find a way to win. I know Pacquiao comes in shape, but he’s going to fall short of that finish line.”
Pacquiao, of course, would beg to differ.
“I chose Keith Thurman because he’s undefeated and I want to prove that at age 40 I can still beat a great fighter like Keith,” he said. “”My time is not yet over. My journey is continuing. I’m going to prove that and more on July 20 against Keith Thurman.”
Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman Ready to Prove Their Dominance
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) kicked off their media tour press conference at the Gotham Hall in New York City. The contest is slated to take place on Saturday July 20th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Thurman, who ended a 22 month lay off when he took on Josesito Lopez on January 26th at the Barclay Center, is looking to add a big name to always impressive resume. To be frank, Thurman didn’t look as sharp as he normally does in his contest against Lopez. It was clear that the long layoff had took a toll on him. Coming into this contest against Pacquiao, many have questioned which version of Thurman we are going to see come fight night. Thurman reassured everyone that he will be back to his normal self come fight night.
“I came off that 22 month layoff against Lopez and there was definitely some rust but I was able to knock it off in that fight. For my fight against Pacquiao you will be see a much better Keith Thurman. I am still an elite level boxer.”
It has been four years since Manny Pacquiao has entered a contest as the betting underdog. His 2015 fight against Floyd Mayweather. The eight division world champion is keen to this stat and admitted that it has lit a fire inside of him. One that he hasn’t felt in quite some time.
“I am very motivated. I haven’t felt this way since the Oscar De La Hoya fight. I am very motivated.” Said Pacquiao.
At age 30, Thurman will enjoy a 10 year age advantage over his foe come fight night. Not only does the undefeated Thurman believe that he will defeat Pacquiao but he also believes that it will be in devastating fashion.
“He’s a great fighter, there’s no doubt about that, he has done a lot in the sport of boxing but he’s too small. After I give him this beating he won’t want to fight anymore. If I was all of you guys I would tune in because this is going to be his last fight.”
Could this be a passing of the guard? Or will Pacquiao prove that he still has plenty left in the tank? As both men faced off one last time before a packed house in New York City, it became clear that this fight is actually taking place. Both men talked a good game, but come July 20th they will get the opportunity to stake their claim as the best in the world.
Will the Real Welterweight Champion Please Stand Up
By: Ken Hissner
The Welterweight division is known to possibly be the most competitive with their five world champions. Hopefully in the near future they will fight one another to see who the “Real World Welterweight Champion Is”.
The most well- known is southpaw Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao, 61-7-2 (39), of General Santos City, PH, who won his first world title back in December of 1998 though behind on points going into the eighth round. In that eighth round he knocked out Chatchai Sasakul, 32-1-1, of TH at the Tonsuk College Ground, Phuttamonthon, in TH, for the WBC World Flyweight Title.
“Pac Man” is a six division world champion. In his last defense of his WBA World Title he defeated former champ Adrien “The Problem” Broner, 33-3-1, at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV, in January.
Keith “One Time” Thurman, 29-0 (22), defended his WBA Super World Title in January winning a majority decision over Josesito Lopez, 36-7, at the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, NY. It was his first fight since March of 2017 when he won a unification bout over WBC champ Danny “Swift” Garcia, 33-0, at the Barclay Center but had the WBC vacated due to the layoff.
“One Time” defeated current WBC World Champ Shawn “Showtime” Porter, in June of 2016, at the Barclay Center. “Showtime” is now 30-2-1 (17), having won a split decision over Yordenis Ugas, 23-3, this past weekend in Carson, CA. This writer felt Porter won 120-108. There is no reason for a rematch. Since losing to “One Time” he has won four straight bouts and the WBC Title from Garcia in September of 2018, at the Barclay Center.
This Saturday the IBF World champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. 24-0 (21), of Desoto, TX, will defend his title against WBC World Lightweight champ Mikey Garcia, 39-0 (30), at the AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX. In “The Truth’s” last bout he knocked out Carlos Ocampo, 22-0, of MEX, in the first round in Frisco, TX. Garcia last fought in July of 2018 defeating Robert Easter, Jr., 24-0, at the Staples Center, in L.A.
The WBO World champ is 3-division world champion Terence “Bud” Crawford, 34-0 (25), of Omaha, NEB. He has an upcoming defense against former world champ Amir Kahn, 33-4, at Madison Square Garden, NYC, on April 20th. In “Bud’s” last fight he stopped Jose Benavidez, Jr., 27-0, in Omaha, in the twelfth and final round.
The five world champions do not have a unification bout scheduled at this time. Only Spence and Crawford have scheduled bouts. Crawford is promoted by Top Rank, Spence and Thurman by Golden Boy, Pacquiao by his own MP Promotions and Porter by TGB in his recent fight.
Most boxing authorities would probably say Crawford is the best. Thurman has proven to be the best prior to his layoff by many. Never bet against Pacquiao, and Spence is the future if he gets by Garcia. Porter is a long shot being the best but you never know.
Who do you think is the best welterweight Champ in the World?
Should Keith Thurman vs. Manny Pacquiao Be Next?
By: Hans Themistode
Both Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) and Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) made back to back ring returns in consecutive weeks with both fighters coming away with the victory. Pacquiao easily outpointed Adrien Broner while Thurman on the other hand took home the victory against a resurgent Josesito Lopez.
They both came out on the winning side but they also seem to be on the opposite side of the spectrum in terms of their careers. Pacquiao is 40 years old and although he is still an excellent fighter he is no longer the force that he once was. Thurman on the other hand is 30 years of age and should be in the prime of his career.
Thurman of course came back from a 22 month layoff after elbow surgery and a hand injury shortly after. For a man coming off such a long time out of the ring he looked like he hadn’t missed much time. Sure he had a very shaky seventh round where it looked like Lopez was on his way to pulling off one of the biggest upsets in recent memories but outside of that one forgettable round Thurman dominated the fight. In his post fight press conference he made it very clear that he would love a fight with the hall of fame boxer turned senator Manny Pacquiao.
For years and years fans would have loved to see Pacquiao matchup with the young elite fighters that were associated with the PBC. Unfortunately the politics of boxing stopped many of those matches. Fans had to settle with Manny fighting the same fighters over and over again. Tim Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez fought Manny a combined seven times in his career. Both Bradley and Marquez are first ballot hall of famers but fans wanted a bit more variety. Now that Manny is on the PBC side of the street he has an entirely new stable of fighters to test himself against.
A matchup with Thurman is tantalizing. They both of course hold WBA titles (the fact that they both hold WBA titles in the same division is mind boggling in itself.) they both also hold major drawing power. Thurmans bout against Lopez pulled in over two million viewers on Fox while it’s reported that Manny managed to get over 400,000 pay per view buys for his fight against Broner in a day and age where that model was thought to be dead and gone.
At this very moment the odds on a matchup between the two would quite possibly see Manny as the betting favorite. It’s understandable, Thurman just doesn’t seem to be Thurman. Yet. We seen him get hit with shots that we aren’t accustomed to seeing. We also seen him land punishing blows that would normally take his man out. Thurman isn’t quite at his best. Yet.
With that being said. Like him, love him or hate him but you must respect his talent. He is still the man to beat in the division until further notice.
A matchup between these two would mean much more than just a great fan friendly fight. On one side of the ring is Manny Pacquiao. A first ballot hall of famer who represents the old school. A time when Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and several others controlled the headlines. On the other side of the ring is Keith Thurman who represents the new age in boxing. Thurman, Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford along with several others who are trying to establish their own legacy.
In a career filled with an unprecedented amount of achievements a victory over Thurman for Pacquiao would register as one of his biggest wins. Pacquiao’s career began over 20 years ago. To record a win over one of the best Welterweights today would be unthinkable. For Thurman he could establish himself as possibly the best of his era if he could not only get in the ring with Pacquiao but defeat him as well.
A fight between Thurman and Pacquiao is one that has to happen but is it time for it to happen now? Absolutely.
Is Keith “One-Time” Thurman on Borrowed Time?
By: Kirk Jackson
Keith “One-Time” Thurman 29-0 (22 KO’s) successfully defended his WBA super welterweight belt via majority decision over Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez 36-8 (19 KO’s) after almost two years on the sidelines.
Taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Thurman returned to the ring for the first time since beating two-division champion Danny Garcia in a unification bout in March 2017. Since earning victory via split decision, elbow and hand injuries kept the Thurman from competition.
Although “One-Time” emerged victorious in his 12 round defense of the Super WBA welterweight title against Lopez, he endured problematic moments from the rugged challenger.
“He had me buzzed, he had me shaken up,” Thurman admitted. “I was trying to stay on the outside. I just was a little off in my prediction of his long arms and the way that he was lunging in, willing to really swing and commit for the knockout. He was coming for me.”
“Lopez had a tough head but we held out strong. I said you wouldn’t see the best Keith Thurman tonight, but you’d still see a world class performance, and I gave you that tonight.”
While the most important aspect is securing victory by any means, Thurman did not resemble a prime version of himself. This equation includes a mixture of different variables and Lopez should be credited for his efforts of attempting to snatch Thurman’s coveted undefeated mark. But with this recent representation of Thurman, the question begs is he on borrowed time?
Entering the bout off a 22 month layoff, rust was to be expected. Although Lopez was selected as a tune-up, he is an extremely tough if not undersized competitor at welterweight. The trainer of Lopez, Robert Garcia, is one of the best trainers in the world and if we consider the variables, the result is not shocking.
The scores of 115-111, 117-109 and 113-113 in favor of Thurman were shocking. Although Thurman clearly won the fight and was expected to dominate upon his return, the wide margin of one of the scores does not truly reflect the story of this encounter.
Injuries and rust aside, Thurman is firmly planted as one of the key figures in boxing’s glamour division. With a re-emerging Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao 61-7-2 (39 KO’s) serving as subsidiary to Thurman’s Super WBA welterweight title, a bout between the two may be an option for Thurman in the near future.
“I feel good. That was a beautiful fight. I would most likely definitely take the Manny Pacquiao fight this year,” said Thurman. “Maybe Brooklyn, maybe Vegas, wherever Manny Pacquiao wants it. I’d even fight him in the Philippines if I have to. Either way, I will be back later this year. Believe that.”
As intriguing as a bout against Pacquiao sounds, a match-up against either one, if not both of his same-generation contemporaries, appears as a recipe for blockbuster success and acclaim amongst the fans and reporters of the sport.
The two elephants in the room are none other than IBF welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence 24-0 (21 KO’s) and WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford 34-0 (25 KO’s).
Speaking of his contemporaries leading into his fight against Lopez, Thurman had this to say:
“Keith Thurman No. 1, Errol Spence No. 2 and everything else is debatable,” Thurman informed reporters after a pre-fight press conference. “I’ve said it many, many, many times, I don’t give ‘Bud’ Crawford any credit at 147 yet. He hasn’t gotten any credentials off of me.”
Sporting News asked Keith Thurman if he feels like he has to have a fight with Terence Crawford or Errol Spence in 2019 to prove he’s still the man at welterweight.
This was his answer:
(Part 1/2) pic.twitter.com/kuhecRWKJP
— Sporting News Fights (@sn_fights) December 23, 2018
Sporting News asked Keith Thurman if he feels like he has to have a fight with Terence Crawford or Errol Spence in 2019 to prove he’s still the man at welterweight.
This was his answer:
(Part 2/2) pic.twitter.com/eVjwwJa8o9
— Sporting News Fights (@sn_fights) December 23, 2018
Ideally, the obstacles preventing these highly desired match-ups from manifesting can be wedged at the appropriate time (sooner rather than later).
Thurman mentioned recapturing his WBC title – which means he’ll be in pursuit of the winner between Shawn “Showtime” Porter 29-2-1 (17 KO’s) and Yordenis Ugas 23-3 (11 KO’s).
While pursuing unification with the WBC, that places unification of the IBF and WBO titles and most importantly, bouts between Thurman and Crawford or Thurman and Spence on the back-burner.
As we progress through 2019 for Thurman’s sake, it would be nice to see him return to form and to witness more activity from a healthy fighter. Which equates to more matches and against top level opposition being as he is a world champion.
As Thurman resumes this phase of his career as champion, and now has greater understanding as to what it means to be the hunted, with a huge target on his back, is he on borrowed time?
PBC on Fox Results: Thurman Defeats Game Lopez, Kownacki and Nyambayar Win
By: William Holmes
The Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York was the host site of tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions Card on Fox with three scheduled fights.
The untelevised undercard included a shocking knockout of Marsellos Wilder, the brother of Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder, to William Deets.
The first bout of the night was between Claudio Marrero (23-2) and Tugstsogt Nyambayar (10-0) in the featherweight division.
This bout was a WBC Featherweight Title eliminator. Nyambayar, a fighter from Mongolia, had a small but boisterous contingent in the crowd. Nyambayar goes by the nickname of King Tug.
King Tug had a southpaw across from him, but he was able to land some good crosses to the body and quick combinations early.
Marrero showed a good jab in the second round and connected with some straight lefts in the third, but King Tug landed the cleaner and harder punches, and had Marrero wobbly in the thirdrom a good straight right hand and he followed that with some heavy combinations in the fourth.
King Tug’s accuracy was just better in the fifth and both punches landed some good shots in the sixth round, and Tug looked like a mouse was forming under his left eye.
Marrero had a strong seventh and eight rounds as Tug wasn’t as aggressive as in previous rounds and Marrero was landing his right hooks. The ninth round could have been scored either way, and the tenth was also close but Marrero lost a point for landing a punch during the break.
The eleventh round featured combinations from both fighters who let their hands go, but King Tug looked like he landed the better shots. Marrero came out very aggressively in the final round and may have landed some punches in the back of the head before the referee quickly broke them up. Marrero was fighting as if he knew he needed a knockout to win but that knockout never came.
The final scores were 114-113, 115-112, and 116-111 for Tugstogt Nyambayar.
The co-main event of the night was between Adam Kownacki (18-0) and Gerald Washington (19-2-1) in the heavyweight division.
Kownacki had a softer appearance in muscle tone when compares to Washington, but he didn’t appear to be intimated by Washington’s physique as he came at him right away and landed a good right hand followed by a short left hook. Washington was able to land some shots of his own in return, but Kownacki kept up the pressure and a good pace and was beating up Washington in the opening round. Kownacki did have a cut near his eye by the end of the round.
Washington came out aggressively at the start of the second round and landed some good punches, but Kownacki took them well and landed a body shot that quickly slowed the momentum of Washington. A straight right hand from Kownacki knocked Washington down who struggled to get up before the count of ten. The referee allowed him to continue, but two more hard shots from Kownacki forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Adam Kownacki wins with an impressive knockout at 1:09 of the second round.
The main event of the night was between Keith Thurman (28-0) and Josesito Lopez (36-7) for the WBA World Welterweight Title.
Thurman was sharp with his counters early on as Lopez pressed the pace and was warned for a low blow early on. Thurman was able to show good in and out movement in the second round and was able to knock Lopez down with a short left hook. Lopez got up by the count of eight and was able to survive the round.
Thurman’s accuracy and movement won him most of the middle rounds, but Lopez remained game and took some of Thurman’s best shots well. Lopez had Thurman’s back against the ropes during the sixth round and was sneaking some punches in, but he really turned the tide in the seventh round.
In the seventh Lopez looked close to knocking Thurman down early in from hard left hooks and was battering him from corner to corner. Thurman was fighting to survive the seventh but looked recovered and well by the eight round.
Thurman landed some heavy shots in the eighth round, but Lopez took those shots well and stayed moving forward applying pressure.
Both boxers landed heavy blows in the ninth round and showed a tremendous chin and a willingness to exchange punches.
Thurman stuck to trying to out box Lopez in the tenth and eleventh round on the ever charging Lopez, and he likely won those rounds despite Lopez being able to sneak in some good shots.
The final scores were 113-113, 115-111, and 117-109 for Keith Thurman.