Pacquiao says he might KO Thurman before 6th round
By Allan Fox: Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman are now eight days away from their huge mega-fight on July 20 on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View. Both fighters are promising early knockouts when they get inside the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thurman (29-0, 21 KOs) is sounding a little more convincing than the 40-year-old Pacquiao when talking about how he’s going to win by an early stoppage.
The way that Thurman’s face lights up each time he speaks about knocking Pacquiao, it’s like he’s imagining the massive praise he’ll be receiving from the boxing public.
Pacquiao talks of stopping Thurman before the sixth
“The more he talks, the more he helps me a lot. It helps me get more motivated,” said Pacquiao to Fino Boxing about Thurman. “This is great for me. It’s helping me. It’s not helping him. We’ll see,” said Pacquiao when told that Thurman is predicting a sixth round knockout. “I’m thinking before then. He’s an aggressive fighter, and he wants to fight me one on one. We’ll see if he’s going to fight me toe-to-toe,” said Pacquiao.
This fight is so evenly matched that it’s difficult to predict which of the two will score a knockout. It could go either way. Thurman was razor close to being knocked out last January by 34-year-old Josesito Lopez, who at this point in his career is more of a journeyman level fighter at best. Lopez is technically a fringe contender, but he’s someone that shouldn’t have been able to do what he did to Thurman if he was still in the prime of his career. It’s easy to imagine Pacquiao finishing Thurman if he were to have hurt him in the same way that Lopez did.
Pacquiao says Mayweather has no excuse for not coming back
“He can come back. There’s no reasons,” said Pacquiao about Floyd Mayweather Jr. “There’s no alibi’s or excuses. If he comes back, why not? I’m still active. I still have the same speed as before. The same power as before. Nothing to worry,” said Pacquiao.
Mayweather isn’t showing signs of returning to boxing or least not against true world class level fighter. A rematch against Pacquiao would be the smart move by Mayweather, but he prides himself on having an unbeaten record. He’s been out of action for too long for him to ever beat Pacquiao again. Mayweather is one of those fighters that values his ‘O’ more than he does money. That’s precisely why he won’t come back for seconds against the former eight division world champion Pacquiao.
Roach: If Thurman runs, we’ll chase him down
“Thurman, he better show up in this fight,” said trainer Freddie Roach to Fino Boxing. “I don’t see all the greatness. Our sparring partners are tougher than he is. This is the first time I’ve seen Manny take it and use it as motivation, because he’s a little bit upset about it. A lot of it depends on what Thurman does. If Thurman wants to come to fight, no problem. If he wants to run, we’ll chase him down,” Roach said.
It’s pointless for Pacquiao to chase Thurman. That’s what Thurman’s whole game is based on.
Thurman not similar to Mayweather says Roach
“No similarities,” said Roach when asked about Thurman’s recent comment in comparing himself to Mayweather. “That’s a dream. His last three fights show you right away that he doesn’t belong in that class,” said Roach.
Thurman got a few laughs recently when he compared himself to Mayweather, but it shows what an ego he has. He’s nothing like Mayweather with his fighting style. Mayweather was more stationary, and willing to out-box his opponents one on one. Mayweather was an incredible talent. Thurman is more blue collar.
Thurman says his career won’t end if he loses to Pacquiao
“I do anything I can to get a win,” said Thurman to Thaboxingvoice. “If I lose to Pacquiao, my careers’s not over. Right now I’m still capable of making 147. There’s still a lot of great fights at 147. We’re not at that stage of having that conversation,” said Thurman when asked if he’ll be moving up to 154 soon.
Thurman is correct about his career not being over if he loses to Pacquiao. He can still fight Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Amir Khan. Those would all be excellent fights. There would also be a high degree of interest from the boxing public in a rematch between Keith and Pacquiao. The end of the road for Thurman would come once he starts losing to all of those fighters without being able to beat any of them.
Terence Crawford not in Thurman’s immediate plans for future fights
“Bud is a little bit of an odd man out in this division,” said Thurman about Terence Crawford. “It’s hard to say how much desire there is to fight him when there are so many other fights to make, and there’s less difficulties to make those fights. One of the biggest things in business is you take the path of least resistance. I’m not a fighter that swims up stream,” said Thurman.
It sounds like Thurman doesn’t want to fight Crawford, but that’s not surprising. Thurman has never seemed eager to take the fight with the Top Rank promoted fighter. It’s understandable why Thurman doesn’t want to fight Crawford. He’s a switch-hitting counter puncher, who uses movement. Right there, that’s three strikes that Crawford has going against him. When you add in that Crawford is with Top Rank, that’s strike four, and makes him an unpalatable opponent for Thurman. Crawford can’t change the way he fights. If he were to stop using all those things in his game, he probably start losing. When Crawford’s contract with Top Rank expired recently, he could have crossed the tracks and signed with Premier Boxing Champions or DAZN. Crawford chose to stay with Top Rank, and he’ll likely stay with them until the end of his career.
Thurman says he’ll box Pacquiao if he can’t KO him
“I’m not sure if I’ll have three fights this year,” said Thurman. “I’m not sure if I’ll sign another fight contract. I believe ring IQ is an asset I have over Manny Pacquiao that stands out the most. Pacquiao has footwork, but it’s not boxing footwork. It’s in and out. He’s got an in and out movement. Keith Thurman has circle movement, and I believe that’s the difference. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that. We’re going to keep touching him to see where he’s at. You’ve got to set it up,” said Thurman about the knockout.
“If I can force the knockout, I’ll force the knockout,” said Thurman. “If he walks into the knockout, then he walks into the knockout. If he’s hard to knockout, then we’ll get behind the jab, and stick and move. We’ll box him in a way that he’s not going to enjoy. We’re going to check him with a hook, step back with a right hand, and right right into the body. We’re going to put him into the sand,” said Thurman.
It’s not too likely that Thurman will score a knockout win over Pacquiao, because that would require for him to apply a massive amount of pressure. Since Thurman has a limited gas tank range of six rounds, he’s not going to push himself hard looking to KO Manny. In the second half of the fight, Thurman will likely be exhausted, and using movement to survive like he did against Danny Garcia. The best way for Pacquiao to beat Thurman is to apply massive pressure for the full 12 rounds. Thurman will lose two or three of the first six rounds, and then lose all six of the second half of the fight after he tires.
Thurman rips into Errol Spence
“When did Errol [Spence] hit the scene?” asked Thurman. “How much money was he making? I had too many opportunities, and he was at the tail end. Why am I going to fight the best fight out there today when I can fight it tomorrow for more money?” said Thurman about why he’s chosen not to fight Errol Spence for the last four years. My career hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to go. If it went my way, the fight would have already been over. With my injuries in 2019. I’m not fighting Errol, Porter, Danny Garcia, none of those. Really, he ain’t made because I’m ducking him. He’s mad because I got the better fights. He’s made because they [the boxing public] likes me more. He’s made because I got better numbers. He’s made because he CAN’T beat Keith Thurman. That’s why he’s mad,” said Thurman.
Thurman’s best career wins have come against these fighters:
- Danny Garcia
- Shawn Porter
- Luis Collazo
- Josesito Lopez
- Luis Collazo
- Robert Guerrero
Garcia, Porter and Lopez are the best of that bunch. None of those names are elite level fighters. We’re going to see how good Porter is when he faces Spence in September. Given that Porter was beaten by Kell Brook, it doesn’t make him look good.
Spence’s best wins have come against these guys:
- Kell Brook
- Mikey Garcia
- Lamont Peterson
- Chris Algieri
Thurman’s career record is a little bit better than Spence’s, but he’s also been a pro for five additional years. Spence started his career at 2012, whereas Thurman began his career in 2007. Before Spence is through with his career, he’ll likely have faced better opposition than Thurman.
Thurman says Spence didn’t bring in the 400K PPV buys, Mikey Garcia did
“You think he got them [the 400,000 pay-per-view buys] or did the Mexicans in Texas buy them,” said Thurman about the 400K buys Spence’s fight against Mikey Garcia brought in last March on Fox Sports pay-per-view at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “You think he sold it or did Mikey Garcia talking all that crap sell them? Man Down, but the man didn’t go down. What happened? What happened, EJ? You boxed him like it was a sparring partner. You boxed him like you paid him something. You wasn’t doing no Man Down. You talking about Keith Thurman not being ‘One Time’ no more. What happened to ‘Man Down’?” said Thurman.
Thurman brings up a good point in talking about the Spence-Garcia pay-per-view numbers coming mostly from Mikey’s side. That’s probably true. Mikey has a large fan base. But if Thurman using his perception of Spence as not being a large PPV draw an excuse not to fight him, then that’s weak. Thurman’s popularity will grow if he beats Spence. Even if he fights Spence and loses, Thurman will become more popular.
Thurman wants to beat up Pacquiao
“Tying him up on the inside could be a style to lower his numbers,” said Thurman in talking about potentially clinching Pacquiao frequently to keep him from throwing a lot of shots. “The judges do get positively persuaded. A lot of, ‘Oohs’ and ‘ah’s. Even if he’s not landing anything, the combinations look good, especially if you’re just sitting on the ropes. I’ll be kicking his as-. ” said Thurman.
Staying off the ropes is the best way for Thurman to make sure he has a good shot of beating up Pacquiao. He’s not going to KO him if he stays on the ropes or if he runs around the ring using his “circle boxing.”
‘One Time’ Thurman fires back at critics
“Who else did you want me to fight?” said Thurman about his career. “I don’t think Terence Crawford was at welterweight yet. Who else did you want me to fight at that time? This is why now I understand Floyd Mayweather. Most people don’t know s–t about boxing. I’m just trying to have the best career I can have. I want to have exciting fights, but I need to have exciting fights at the right moment for me and my career. With 22 months off, I should be able to do whatever I want to do, and ya’ll should shut the f–k up. Ya’ll should be happy that Keith Thurman is even back,” said Thurman.
The fans wanted Thurman to step up four years ago and fight Spence. It looked bad that Thurman was busy fighting guys like Luis Collazo, Robert Guerrero, Diego Chaves, Julio Diaz, Jesus Soto Kara and Leonard Bundu. If Spence weren’t available for Thurman to fight at the time, then it wouldn’t have been bad, but the fact is he was available. Thurman chose not to fight him, and the perception is he feared him.
Canelo Alvarez not on Thurman’s radar at the moment
“Not at this time,” said Thurman when asked if he would be interested in fighting Saul Canelo Alvarez. “I’m not interested in that fight at this time. I’ve always wanted to fight Canelo deep down, but I’m not interested in that this time. If that’s where EJ [Spence] wants to go, let him go. Let him get his money. Let him make his dough. I’m not a hater. I understand what he wants. He wants a big money fight. Let him do his thing,” said Thurman.
Well, if Thurman loses to Pacquiao on July 20, he might wish he had taken the fight with Canelo Alvarez if it were offered to him. At least if Thurman lost to Canelo, he could blame the defeat on him fighting a younger, bigger and stronger fighters than himself.