Mikey Garcia predicts Pacquiao beats Thurman
By Chris Williams: Mikey Garcia thinks Manny Pacquiao still has more than enough left in the tank to defeat unbeaten Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman next month in their fight on July 20 on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Former four division world champion Garcia, 31, likes the movement, hand speed, and combination punching of Pacquiao in this PPV contest. He thinks Manny will be able to get the better of Thurman with his in and out attacking style, and his relentless fighting style. However, Mikey isn’t counting out Thurman. He sees the possibility of Thurman landing one of his big shots, and potentially knocking out the 40-year-old Pacquiao.
Pacquiao has a lot left in him
“Manny still has plenty left in him. He’s still [fighting] at a high level,” said Mikey Garcia to Fighthype. “He’s still a world champion, but he’s not an easy fight for him either. Thurman is very strong, he’s hungry and very motivated for this fight,” said Mikey.
We don’t know precisely how much Pacquiao has left in him, because he hasn’t beaten anyone at the elite level in many years. Pacquiao’s recent wins have come against these fighters: Adrien Broner and Lucas Matthysse. Those are flawed fighters. Broner has been washed up for years, and he never belonged at welterweight to begin with. Matthysse, 37, had nothing left at the time Pacquiao fought him last year in July in Malaysia. Pacquiao didn’t fight Matthysse when he was at his best. Because of that, we don’t know where Pacquiao is at in terms of his ability to mix it with the best in the welterweight division.
Mikey: Thurman has shaken the rust off
‘One Time’ Thurman has come back from his two year layoff, and shaken all the rust off with his win over Josesito Lopez last January, according to Garcia. He expects the old Thurman to be in the ring with Pacquiao next month on July 20, and anything can happen if he’ at his best.
“Thurman has probably trained better than ever,” said Mikey. “Even though he had a long layoff, he came back against Josesito Lopez. Maybe he didn’t perform at his highest abilities. But for this fight, he’s in his best shape after having shaken out the rust. So that makes it a dangerous fight for Manny,” said Mikey.
It’s still a little early for Thurman to be coming back to fight a guy at Pacquiao’s level. The wheels could come off the Thurman express in this fight, because he’s not had enough fights under his belt since returning for him to compete against a talented welterweight like Manny. Josesito is a fringe level fighter at 147, and Thurman came close to losing to him. It wasn’t just the seventh round where Thurman had problems. He was struggling throughout that fight, and taking shots. His punch resistance looked less than what it needed to be for an elite level fighter.
Pacquiao might not hit quite as hard as Lopez, but he’s busier, and he throws more combinations. Unless Thurman plans on running around the ring all night, he’s going to have his chin checked numerous times by Pacquiao.
Thurman has the power advantage in this fight, because he’s a true welterweight, and he’s been looking really big lately. What Pacquiao has going for him is his activity level, hand speed, movement and combination punching. Thurman has hurt his career with his inactivity. He out out of the ring for two years due to injuries after his hard fought win over Danny Garcia in March 2017. Thurman came back last January to defeat Josesito Lopez.
Mikey: “Manny should win”
“Thurman is strong and he’s hungry. He can also box, and move around. He’s not just a brawler. He can move around, and make it difficult for Manny,” said Mikey. “I think Manny should win. Manny has enough. I think Manny has the footwork, and the hand speed, and he punches with hand speed and at angles. I think this is the way to win. Jump in and out with good combinations,” Garcia said.
It’s impossible to predict how either of these two welterweights will perform on July 20. Thurman fought poorly in his his comeback fight against Lopez, and he’s going straight into the match with Pacquiao after that. Although Mikey says Thurman has shaken the rust off, we don’t know that for a fact. Mikey is speculating. As Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum says, Thurman may never be the same fighter he once was. Two years out of the ring is a lifetime for a boxer, and he may not be able to return to the form that he had in 2017. Thurman wasn’t the greatest even then, as we saw with him squeaking by Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter with narrow 12 round decision wins.
Pacquiao will be at risk against Thurman says Mikey
“It is risky. A punch could turn it around. Thurman has the power to turn it around,” said Mikey. “He does have that knockout power, and that could be a punch that lands and changes things. If Manny wins, he just beat a guy that was almost half his age. Manny is one of those fighters that can do that. There are not that many fighters that can perform at this level as he can,” said Mikey.
Thurman has the power to score a knockout in this fight, but he’ll probably need to land a lot of shots to get Pacquiao out of there.