Keith Thurman predicts Spence vs. Pacquiao
By Sean Jones: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman picks Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr to beat Manny Pacquiao in their mega-fight on August 21st.
‘One Time’ Thurman wanted to be the one that fought Spence for his IBF and WBC welterweight titles, but instead, he’s got to sit on the sidelines and hope that he throws him a bone.
Thurman, who is still bitter about his loss to Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) in 2019, sees Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) having too much size, youth, and power for the Filipino star.
With that said, Thurman still believes that Pacquiao has a chance in this fight if he can use his speed and movement to keep Errol off balance.
It’s not going to be easy for Pacquiao to do that because he will be getting hit a lot.
Pacquiao shouldn’t have lost his WBA title
“This is called politics in boxing. There are some things you’ve got to read the fine print on, and this is one of those scenarios,” said Keith Thurman to Fighthype on WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas being demoted and Manny Pacquiao being given his WBA title back after being stripped due to inactivity.
“Should they have ever stripped Manny Pacquiao during a pandemic? It’s hardly arguably. The answer is no,” continued Thurman. “Should they [WBA] be playing the game that they’re playing right now?
“The answer is no. But ultimately, do we want to see the biggest fights that we can see? That answer is yes. Spence vs. Pacquiao for all three belts [IBF, WBA & WBC],” said Thurman.
It’s unclear why the World Boxing Association chose to strip Pacquiao during the pandemic because he a good reason for not being active during the two years he was out of the ring.
Thurman favors Spence
“This was the mission your boy was on,” Thurman said. “I felt short, man, and I did some of the mathematics behind the fight [with Pacquiao], and I felt 15 punches short.
“Get your punch count up, young bloods. Get your punch count up, don’t fall short. It was a very close fight, but now I don’t have a title. Pacquiao is walking around with it [WBA], and Spence wants it.
“He says he don’t want Thurman, but he’s going to be able to avoid me to become the undisputed, as long as he gets past Pacquiao.
“Otherwise, Pacquiao will be one of the oldest ever to unify three world titles and become the undisputed welterweight champion.
“No matter what, it’s history in the making if we bring all three of these belts together. It’s something I’ve been waiting to see my whole career.
“I knew it would happen during my career amongst the fighters we have today in this generation. I do respect Pacquiao, but I do favor Spence just as I favor myself.
“Size, youth, and ultimately, when was the last time we saw Pacquiao against a world-class southpaw? Styles make fights, especially against Manny Pacquiao,” Thurman said.
Spence has the size, youth, power, activity level, and the reach going for him in this fight. This isn’t rocket science in picking him to win this fight.
If Pacquiao were 10 years younger, you’d have to favor him, but he’s up there in age at 42 and hasn’t fought in two years.
Pacquiao’s difficult style
We’ve seen it throughout his career many different times, but his number one attribute is that speed, that power, and coming in those awkward little angles with a burst of energy,” said Thurman.
“I do believe that’s not something that Errol has seen in his career punches the way that Pacquiao throws punches.
“But I was able to walk Pacquiao down, keeping my guard up. Spence is really good in this guard. Spence from this side is really good with his guard.
“He’s got that long, long jab, and I think he’ll be able to do what he needs to do in the fight. But I’m not saying Pacquiao is out of it.
“If anybody is going to make another upset, even though I’ve heard theoretically he’s already the favorite in Vegas.
“Is it an upset or not an upset? He’s a legend for a reason. I hope he comes with all the gusto that he did in his performance against me because that’s what I tip his hat off to.
“He fought a good fight, he fought a smart fight, and he ended up edging me out. Will he be able to do the same with Spence? I do not know,” said Thurman.
If Spence is slow in adapting to the movement and in and out style that Pacquiao utilizes, he’s going to struggle badly and wind falling behind.
Spence is usually at his best when he can walk his opponents down, but that’s not going to be easy against Pacquiao.
Manny can’t let Spence fight his fight
“Of course,” said Thurman when told that Spence told Barbershop Conversations he was only 70% for his fight with Danny Garcia.
“Errol knows how to sit down on his punches. We’ve seen him get real wide with his front foot, and then come with his left hook, and it can come like this, and then that left hook can come with an uppercut.
“Then when he has people on the ropes here, he likes to put his right foot on the outside, and he’s got a real nice hookup top and a real nice right hook to the body.
“And then the follow-up is the left. So it’s either right hook up top, left uppercut to the body, boom. I think the hardest thing with Errol Spence is to not fight his fight.
“Anybody that ever fought Errol Spence, when Kell Brook was doing good, Spence wasn’t able to fight his fight. When Shawn [Porter] was doing good, Spence wasn’t able to fight his fight.
“So how much is Pacquiao able to make Spence not feel good to make him fight his fight, which is to walk you down, stay behind the jab, and then go bop-bop.
“It’s almost like a rhythm. We know what Errol is going to do, or you’re going to bring the dog out in him, and he’s going to trade the way he had to against Shawn Porter.
“He’s a real fighter, but stylistically, I just want to see who dominates first. We know that Errol is somewhat of a slow starter.
“Does Errol take dominance from the beginning? Does Pacquiao take over? And does Errol come back like he’s done in the past against some people?
“I thought he started slow against Brook, and I thought he started slow against Porter. Will he start slow against Manny, or will he try and make a statement and go after those belts from round one?” Thurman said.
Spence definitely didn’t look like he was 100% for his last fight against Danny Garcia. 70% sounds like a fair number, as Spence was coming off a long layoff, a terrible car crash, and he lost a lot of weight for the contest.
Thurman says Pacquiao most accomplished fighter
“You can declare Pacquiao the most accomplished fighter in history,” said Thurman. “Floyd declared TBE [The Best Ever] for never losing to anybody throughout his career, so there’s a difference.
“Even though he has a tremendous amount of credentials, it’s not his credentials against everybody else’s credentials,” said Thurman about Mayweather.
“It’s, ‘I was never defeated, what happened to you?’ There are ups and downs in your career when Floyd just did this [Thurman raises his hand to show Mayweather kept soaring with his career].
“So it’s hard to compare this to this. So I think you can call Pacquiao the most accomplished fighter in the history of boxing in coming through all his divisions. But can you put him above Floyd? Yes,” said Thurman.
Manny Pacquiao is clearly the most accomplished fighter ever, having won world titles in eight weight divisions. On the other hand, Floyd Mayweather retiring with a 50-0 record makes him one of the best but maybe not the best.
We know that Sugar Ray Robinson had a better record than Mayweather before he got old, and he had many more wins. For that reason, you can’t say that Mayweather was the ‘The Best Ever.’
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