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Pacquiao vs. Thurman heavy bag comparison: Manny faster & more powerful

Keith Thurman Manny Pacquiao Pacquiao vs. Thurman


By Mark Eisner: Keith Thurman could suffer the same fate as Oscar De La Hoya when he faces Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao and Thurman both have been working out on the heavy bag in preparation for their highy anticipated fight on July 20 on Fox Sports Pay-Per-view at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. 11 years ago, Pacquiao destroyed the bigger Oscar De La Hoya with hand speed and combination punching in 2008.

In the early preparation for the fight, Pacquiao is looking lightning fast, and more powerful than Thurman in working out on the heavyweight bag. Granted, there’s still almost two months to go before their contest on July 20, but right now, Pacquiao is looking by far to be the better fighter.


Thurman’s loss of hand speed is worrisome

The video shows clearly that Thurman is throwing slow, single shots without a lot of power on them. The speed that Thurman once had appears to have disappeared. Thurman’s speed wasn’t there for his last fight against Josesito Lopez on January 26. Thurman, 30, was coming off of a two-year layoff in taking the fight with Lopez. However, that still doesn’t explain the loss of hand speed for Thurman. You can’t say that Thurman’s speed was lost because of him being out of the ring for 2 years. Thurman’s loss of hand speed is more of a product of age rather than inactivity. If Thurman didn’t have his speed in the Lopez fight, he’s not going to find it for the Pacquiao contest. There is no magic Fountain of Youth for fighters that lose hand speed. Once the speed is gone, it’s gone permanently.

Pacquiao is looking better than this writer has seen him look since his fight with Miguel Cotto in 2009. Pacquiao hasn’t shown the same intensity that he’s shown in the video. One can tell that Pacquiao is a lot more engaged mentally for this fight than he has in many years. You can argue that Pacquiao didn’t have a fighter threatening to end his career the way that Thurman has been steadily doing. Pacquiao is showing that speed is power. Thurman is the younger, taller & weaker fighter going up against the older, smaller but stronger Pacquiao. The speed that Pacquiao has going for him enhances his naturally heavy hands. It would be a good idea for Thurman to take a look at the video of Pacquiao to see what he’s going up against, because he’s not training hard enough for him to deal with what he’s confronting him in this fight.

Is Thurman underestimating Manny?

With Thurman saying Pacquiao isn’t one of the elite welterweights, he could be underestimating him. Pacquiao still looks very good for a fighter 40-years-old. If Thurman can’t keep Pacquiao on the outside, he could be in trouble. Pacquiao is too fast, is combinations too powerful for Thurman to exist with him in close. Thurman has criticized Pacquiao, saying he has “T-Rex arms,” and predicting that he won’t get close to him. If Thurman can’t keep Pacquiao off of him, it’s game over. He’ll get broken down, and stopped by him. Thurman has a good chin, as he showed in his fights with Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. However, there’s only so many hard shots that Thurman will be able to take before he gets broken down like De La Hoya.

Pacquiao showing speed of a featherweight

The foot and hand speed of Pacquiao looks that of a fighter from the 126-pound weight class. What’s interesting is that Pacquiao’s punching power is that of a welterweight. Each time he hits the heavy bag, it moves and you can hear the sound. These aren’t light punches that Pacquiao. He’s literally destroying the heavy bag with his shots. In comparison, Thurman is moving like a heavyweight, but without the power. He has a lazy look to him like a fighter that already has one foot in retirement, and is looking for a cash out. This writer doesn’t like the way Thurman is looking right now. He doesn’t look like the same kind of talent that Pacquiao is.


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