Thurman: Pacquiao is no longer second or third best at welterweight
By Chris Williams: If you listen to WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman talk, he says that Manny Pacquiao is no longer even the No.2 or No.3 fighter in the 147 pound division. Thurman thinks that there are several other fighters in the welterweight division besides Floyd Mayweather Jr. that can beat Pacquiao.
Thurman doesn’t say who those fighters are, but my guess is he’s counting himself, Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana and Kell Brook as the fighters that he feels could beat Pacquiao.
That’s actually four fighters, but I think that might be the case. But there’s really nothing about that. Mayweather only exposed what a lot of people have been feeling for a long time when he easily defeated Pacquiao in their “Fight of the Century” on May 2nd.
Mayweather showed that Pacquiao can be picked off when he comes forward, and that he doesn’t have much variation to his attacks. There’s no plan B, C or D when Pacquiao fights despite all the bold talk by his trainer Freddie Roach.
“To me, Manny Pacquiao is no longer second best,” Thurman told Fighthype. “He’s no longer third best. I don’t know where they could put him. We’ve seen the formula to beat Pacquiao many times, and I think there are several welterweights that could go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao and actually beat him,” Thurman said.
Thurman went onto say that he sees it as an age thing with Pacquiao having deteriorated due to both his chronological age and due to the wear and tear of having had 65 fights in the past. I don’t think it’s either of those things. Other than Pacquiao’s loss of power that disappeared overnight back in 2010, he’s still able to beat the guys that his promoter Bob Arum has been feeding him.
If you put a certain type of fighter in with Pacquiao, he’s going to give them a boxing lesson and make them look bad. Examples of that are Brandon Rios, Chris Algieri and Tim Bradley. But obviously if you put Pacquiao in with Arum’s Top Rank stable fighters, he’s going to do well against them. But we what happened when Pacquiao got away from fighting Arum’s fighters and was put in with Mayweather.
Things didn’t go too well for Pacquiao. It makes you wonder if Arum suspected that Pacquiao would get whipped by Mayweather five years ago when the two first attempted to negotiate a fight. Arum pulled Pacquiao out of the negotiations at the time and the test was history.
“I think Pacquiao holds the high rank out of respect for all that he’s done in his career,” Thurman. “But I do see him not having too many more fights.”
Well, you can definitely make an argument that Pacquiao’s high ranking is more of an honorary thing out of his past accomplishments rather than what he’d done lately in the last three years of his career. Before Pacquiao’s fight against Mayweather, he hadn’t fought a really good fighter since 2012 when he was beaten by Juan Manuel Marquez. He wasn’t a welterweight.
Tim Bradley is really a pumped up light welterweight with no punching power. Brandon Rios is a fighter who ate himself out of the lightweight division. He’s not a real welterweight.