Thurman discredits Pacquiao’s biggest wins at welterweight
By Raj Parmar: Welterweight champion Keith Thurman is feeling very confident with less than a month to go for his mega-fight with 2000’s fighter of the decade Manny Pacquiao. In addition to feeling that he is at the peak of his career and abilities, the undefeated Thurman feels Pacquiao is not a true welterweight and his biggest wins in the division were against past their prime boxers.
In a recent interview with The Fight Guys, Thurman insists that Manny’s biggest victories at welterweight are not very impressive. He argues that Manny’s signature wins in the division against the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley were not as amazing as they seem to be on paper due to the stage of their careers each boxer was at when Manny beat them.
Manny squared off against a 35 year-old Oscar De La Hoya in 2008 and sent the Golden Boy into retirement with a one sided pounding. Pacquiao jumped two weight divisions for this fight and although Oscar was clearly a shell of his former self by this time, this win made Manny a worldwide superstar.
Pacquiao squared off against the hard punching Miguel Cotto in 2009. Miguel was coming off a recent damaging loss to Antonio Margarito, a fight which Margarito is suspected of using illegal handwraps. Pacquiao would go on to knock out the overmatched Cotto who was not the same fighter he was prior to his loss to Margarito. After this fight, many felt Pacquiao was the best boxer in the world and would be able to even to take out the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather.
In 2010 and 2011 Pacquiao would get unanimous decision wins against Margarito and Shane Mosley. Margarito was coming off a suspension for illegal hand-wraps while Mosley was a few months away from 40 years old when Manny stepped in the ring with him.
Based on these facts, Thurman definitely has a case about Pacquiao’s career defining welterweight wins coming in situations where his opponent was not in the peak of his career. However it must be noted that Manny started his career at light flyweight which is several weight divisions below welterweight. The fact that a smaller Pacquiao was able to beat fighters like De La Hoya, Cotto, Margarito and Mosely is a huge accomplishment regardless of the fact that the boxers were on their downside.
Thurman maintained in the interview that he is younger, stronger and bigger than Manny and unlike his past opponents in the division, he is at the peak of his career and not on the downside. Even though Thurman makes a strong case that Manny will be fighting a peak champion fighter at welterweight for maybe the first time, Manny has been known to defy the odds throughout his legendary career and has proved to be a fighter than can achieve once in a lifetime feats.