By Dan Ambrose: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman really worked Manny Pacquiao during the Fox Sports one-on-one to discuss their fight in less than two weeks on July 20. Thurman seemed to be pushing all the buttons in talking about how he wants to jab Manny, and bringing up his previous comments about how he thinks he has “T-Rex arms.” At one point, Pacquiao looked like he wanted to tear Thurman apart on the spot. For a fraction of a second, Pacquiao looked furious.
Overall, Pacquiao seemed to handle the criticism from Thurman well, but you could tell that he was upset by the end of the special. Some of the stuff that Thurman was beyond normally hear from fighters. Thurman knows how to how to upset Pacquiao, and it seems like there’s nothing that he won’t say to try and anger him. The point of what Thurman is doing is clearly to upset Pacquiao enough to where he’ll fight out of control, and leave himself open to his shots when they face each other on July 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Thurman talks about wanting to get to Pacquiao
“He’s fighting for my belt, and yet it’s as if the world has forgot, so I want to stab him a little bit, hit him where it hurts,” Thurman said about Pacquiao to Fox Sports. “If he doesn’t feel it, he’s going to feel it. When I said I’m going to crucify the man, they said, ‘ooh, ah.’ It’s almost as if they had a crown of thorns on them themselves. We all know Jesus Christ was resurrected not to walk this earth again. He was in spirit, he gave messages. He gives guidance. He is forever loved. Manny Pacquiao, when he retires, he will be forever loved.,” said Thurman.
Thurman may not accomplish his goal of causing Pacquiao to fight in an out of control manner on July 20, but he’s doing a good job of getting more boxing fans interested in the fight. One Time is almost single-handled creating all the interest in the Pacquiao fight with his trash talking. As usual, Pacquiao isn’t doing much talking to sell the fight. Instead, it’s his trainer Freddie Roach that is helping get fans interested in the contest. Thurman is clearly all by himself at the top in trash talking, and gathering attention with his soundbites.
Pacquiao: “nobody can intimidate me”
“This is my experience. More than 20 years in boxing,” said Pacquiao. “I experience all the hardest fights in life when I fight [Oscar] De La Hoya, [Miguel] Cotto, I fight [Erik Morales], [Juan Manuel] Marquez, [Ricky] Hatton and [Antonio] Margarito; much, much taller than me. Nobody will intimidate me,” said Pacquiao.
For Pacquiao to win, he’s going to have to fight smart, because Thurman is an intelligent fighter, and he’s going to be looking to set traps all night long. Thurman has enough power and size to get Pacquiao out of there in the same way that Juan Manuel Marquez did in 2012. If Thurman is going to KO Pacquiao, it’ll be in the first six rounds when he’s still energetic. Once the fight reaches the midpoint of the contest, Thurman will gas out like he always does, and spend the last six rounds on his bike to keep from getting hit.