Roach: Keith Thurman is faded & hits like a girl
By Jeff Aranow: Trainer Freddie Roach says Keith Thurman isn’t the same fighter that he once was since coming back from a two-year layoff from boxing. Thurman looks “faded” and hits like a “girl,” said Roach to Fighthub. Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) will be fighting Manny Pacquiao on July 20 on Fox Sports pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Pacquiao wants to make Thurman, 30, pay for his disrespect of him, especially with his many comments about retirement. Thurman might not be the fighter that he used to be three years ago, but he’s still dangerous. This match-up will most probably end with a knockout either way.
Freddie sees the change in Thurman
Roach saw a video of Thurman recently working out on a heavy bag, and he noted that he looked weak. He’s not the only one that feels that Thurman looks weak and faded. A lot of boxing fans see it the same way, and they noted that his hand speed didn’t look the same.
“I saw a little video where Manny was hitting the heavy bag, and Thurman was hitting the heavy bag, and it was almost like a man hitting the heavy bag and a girl hitting the heavy bag, and (Thurman) is the girl,” said Roach to Fighthub.
The video that Roach is talking about was posted at the start of Thurman’s training camp, so it’s possible that his speed and punching power has increased since then. It looked like Thurman was using large 16 ounce gloves during the heavy bag workout in order to protect his hands. It’s hard for any fighter to look fast and powerful when they’re wearing large gloves. However, Thurman didn’t look fast in the workout, and he hasn’t looked quick in the subsequent workouts.
Roach says Pacquiao is motivated to get Thurman
“The fire is there. I love when fighters talk about Manny, because Manny takes it to heart,” said Roach. “He’ll make him pay for it. At the news conference, Thurman said a few things about Manny, and Manny just let it go. I had to open my mouth and say, ‘We’re going to knock you out.’ I thought I was going to get a response back, but I didn’t,” said Roach.
It’s quite understandable why Pacquiao wants to knockout Thurman after all the comments that he’s made about wanting to retire him. Thurman has gone overboard in trying to get into the mind of the 40-year-old Pacquiao to undermine his self-confidence. It appears to be a two-headed strategy on Thurman’s part. The rationale would be to shoot a hole through Pacquiao’s confidence by pointing out his age constantly to make him question himself. The second strategy is to talk a lot of trash to get the casual boxing fans to purchase the fight in droves on Fox Sports pay-per-view. Thurman can make a fortune if the Pacquiao fight brings in over one million PPV buys on Fox. If Thurman is never involved in another huge mega-pay-per-view fight again, he can still retire from this fight.
Roach: You can see Thurman is faded
“His last three fights, you can see he’s faded. He’s lucky to win that last one,” said Roach. “He had a very, very poor performance. I know he had an injury and he had time off, but he has no excuses for this one.”
Thurman, 30, showed the nasty effects of two years out of the ring in his last fight against Josesito Lopez. ‘One Time’ didn’t look anywhere near the same fighter he once was. While there are a lot of boxing fans that believe that Thurman will return to his old form, it’s unclear if he will. The way that Thurman performed against Josesito, age is starting to show. Thurman is 30 now, and slowing down the way a person does at that age. For some, 30 is the start of old age when it comes to athletics.
Pacquiao will knockout Thurman say Roach
“I think we’ll knock him out along the way,” said Roach. “I think that Manny’s really hungry for a knockout, and I’m really hungry for a knockout. We’ve never knocked anyone out at 147, and that’s something we need to do.”
That would be something if Pacquiao were to KO Thurman, and send him into retirement. Of course, Thurman won’t retire if he loses to Manny, because there’s too much money for him to make with his career. It is possible that Manny could score a knockout in this fight, and send Thurman plunging back into the contender ranks. You can argue that Thurman would have lost his last fight in January if he fought someone good. The World Boxing Association allowed Thurman to face the fringe contender Josesito Lopez.
Thurman is vulnerable to pressure fighters
Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Josesito Lopez all showed how to beat Thurman by applying constant pressure. They forced Thurman to run from them, and use his “circle boxing” to keep from being knocked out. Roach has obviously studied those fights already, and he’s come up with a good game plan for Pacquiao to beat Thurman. You don’t let Thurman dictate the action in the fight, because he’ll pick you apart. Pacquiao is going to make sure that Thurman is forced to fight off his back foot for the entire fight. That’ll put pressure on the judges to make the decision whether to give Thurman the rounds based on his negative style or give it to the aggressor.
Staying off the ropes is a must for Thurman
In Thurman’s fights against Lopez, Porter and Garcia, he backed up to the ropes, and covered up while they nailed him. Thurman can’t do that against Pacquiao, because he’s too quick and busy. Pacquiao will riddle Thurman with power shots to the head and body if he stops moving. Conditioning is going to be key in this fight. If Thurman wants to win, he’s going to need to be able to stay on the move.
Thurman not jogging to get in condition
There are reports that the only cardio Thurman is doing is working out on a stationary bike. In other words, Thurman isn’t jogging for some reason. This could be bad news for Thurman, because he’s not going to get in great shape on a stationary bike.
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