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Thurman: Pacquiao better get me before I get him

Keith Thurman Manny Pacquiao Pacquiao vs. Thurman

By Dan Ambrose: Keith Thurman will be looking to score a quick knockout of Manny Pacquiao in the first three rounds on July 20th in their fight on Fox Sports pay-per-view. Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) has a goal of sending the 40-year-old Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) into retirement.

Manny only has a puncher’s chance of winning the fight, according to Thurman. Pacquiao won’t be able to win rounds to get the ‘W’ by a 12 round decision, says Thurman.

Thurman says he’s betting money on him getting Pacquiao out early in the fight. Whether he’s serious or not about that is unclear, but he does seem very confident of victory. Thurman, 30, is counting on the 10-year gap in ages between him and the 40-year-old Pacquiao in being more than enough for him to get the win when they meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thurman: I’m going for the KO of Pacquiao

“I’m younger. I’m going to let my hands go in a way that Adrien Broner didn’t,” Thurman said to TMZ Sports. “I’m going to make it a fight! That’s motivation! I can’t go 3 minutes going ‘tap, tap, tap’ when I got $10k on the round! I’m going to go for a first or second round knockout. I’m going to put my money down in the fight too. I don’t want to bet straight up.”

Pacquiao didn’t look too pleased with Thurman telling the hosts on PBC on Fox that he plans on beating him. Manny looked annoyed at having to sit through the entire interview with Thurman telling him how he plans on winning on July 20, but there was nothing he could do but listen. Manny was looking at the camera a lot, and you could tell that he was upset. At one point, Thurman said to Pacquiao, “Are you angry?” Thurman looked quite pleased with how he was upsetting Pacquiao, and he lacked the aggressiveness to fire back at him.

Pacquiao will fall short says Thurman

“Just like his height, he will fall short,” said Thurman about Pacquiao to PBC on Fox. “I know a lot of people said that, but I only looked beatable in one round,” said Thurman about him getting hurt in the seventh round by Josesito Lopez last January. “There’s many times where a fighter has a hiccup, and he has a bad round. I’ve never been out-boxed, out-punched and out-performed,” said Thurman.

It still bugs Thurman that he was hurt by his last opponent Josesito Lopez last January, since this was supposed to have been a “get back” fight, and things went terribly wrong for ‘One Time’ for a brief moment in round seven. To his credit, Thurman, 30, made it out of the round without getting stopped, but it required a lot of back-peddling on his part for him to survive. From that point on, Thurman ran for the remainder of the fight, and looked bad.

Thurman says he’s the A-side in Pacquiao contest

“I’m the A-side, and undefeated. Manny Pacquiao is the legend, who has been defeated,” said Thurman. “It’s hard to go against a man who has never been defeated. Did they go against Floyd? I have a 10 years age gap. The real curve ball here is this Keith Thurman in 2019, and I look forward to showing it on July 20. Whatever the contract says. I walked out first, and I beat Danny Garcia,” said Thurman.

It’s a little delusional on Thurman’s part for him to consider himself as the A-side in the Pacquiao promotion. That’s not a realistic view of what the actual situation is. Thurman is not the A-side, given his limited crossover appeal. Pacquiao has been at the top of the sport of boxing for over 10 years. Thurman has only been a world champion for three years, and he was out of action for two of those years with injuries.

Pacquiao motivated to prove a point

“It gives me more motivation,” said Pacquiao being more motivated by the trash talking that Thurman is doing. “It gives me more motivation to work hard. When you get to the age of 40, you become lazy and your career is over. This is the time I want to prove that it’s not over at 40. I’m motivated, because it’s a long time since I’ve been an underdog,” said Pacquiao.

Thurman has given Pacquiao plenty of motivation to beat him with his trash talking. The way that Thurman has gone about hyping his fight with Pacquiao is that of a fighter that is taking it to the gutter. Instead of treating Pacquiao with respect for everything he’s accomplishing his long 24-year pro career, Thurman has gone out of his way to show the Filipino star that he doesn’t think highly of him.

Thurman says he’ll overcome Pacquiao’s challenge

“We out-jab the jabbers. We out-punch the punchers,” Thurman said. “We out-box the boxers. I make strategies. Round by round, I can change my strategies. I’ve proven that. I do expect a challenge from Manny Pacquiao, but I do believe it’s a challenge I can overcome. I do think he had a tremendous victory over Adrien Broner, but that was due to the fact that the fight was going his way all the time,” said Thurman.

The way that Thurman talks, it sounds like he’s repeating something one of his coaches has told him over the years. Thurman is obviously not going to out-punch everyone he faces. We already know that. He didn’t out-punch Danny Garcia. Thurman ran from Garcia in the last half of their fight in 2017, because he couldn’t out-punch him. Likewise, Thurman didn’t out-punch Josesito Lopez last January. He was hurt by Lopez when he tried to stand in front of him in the seventh round. This resulted in Thurman getting on his bike and staying away from him in the second half of the contest.

Thurman: I need to respect Pacquiao’s power

“I’m going to do my best to make sure on July 20th to make sure the fight does not end up going his way, and he’s going to have to put more of himself out to prove he’s a great champion he thinks he is,” said Thurman. “I do know I need to respect Manny’s power, and avoid that power, but I do believe ultimately I’ll be able to handle what comes at me come July 20th,” said Thurman.

Thurman says he’s going to respect Manny’s punching power, but he’s not going to be able to avoid mixing it up with him for the entire 12 round fight. For Thurman to win the fight, he’s going to have to stand in the pocket enough to impress the judges to get the decision. The “circle boxing” that Thurman likes to do isn’t going to be enough for him to beat a highly popular fighter like Pacquiao. The judges aren’t going to give Thurman rounds for fighting negatively. To beat a superstar like Pacquiao, Thurman is going to have to get dirty by getting in the trenches to beat him. Thurman won’t be able to get a win on the cheap over Manny by running like he did in his fights against Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.

Thurman talks of wanting to KO Pacquiao early

“I want to bet on the KO. You’ve got to try and hit a home run in one and two baby,” said Thurman. “I don’t think Manny’s style can ever beat my style. Anybody that knows me and him, and watched my boxing and speak on boxing, I just really understand the game really well. Every fight I’ve taken, I’ve never felt like the underdog. They never made me the underdog. I always felt like I was coming out on top. Even though they won some rounds, they weren’t winning the fight. So if Freddie Roach is betting his fighter is winning the fight, he’s not winning the fight,” said Thurman.

It’s an excellent idea for Thurman to go after Manny as early as possible on July 20th, considering that ‘One Time’ has always had stamina problems. Thurman is an elite fighter for six rounds, and after, he’s more of a B-level guy. He fades horribly, and gives away the second half of his fights against the better guys. It used to be that Thurman would struggle in the second half only against the elite level fighters like Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. But now he’s facing against the non-elite fighters in Josesito Lopez. Pacquiao is going to be a real danger to Thurman if he doesn’t knockout the Filipino star in the first six round before he hits the wall, and gasses out after the sixth.

Thurman says Pacquiao only has knockout chance

“Every fighter does have a chance. The best thing about Manny Pacquiao is he does come to the ring with speed,” Thurman said. “He does come to the ring with power. He better get me before I get him. That’s his only option. He’s not winning round by round by round. I’m younger. I’m going to let my hands go in a way that Adrien Broner didn’t. That fight was one-sided. That fight was Manny Pacquiao red carpet here you go. I’m going to make it a fight,” said Thurman.

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