Thurman more dangerous for Pacquiao than Spence says Freddie Roach
By Dan Ambrose: In a surprising comment, Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach says Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is a more dangerous fighter than Errol Spence Jr. Roach says he’s obviously studied Thurman and Spence, and he feels that former WBA/WBC 147-lb champion ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is a better overall fighter than Spence (27-0, 21 KOs).
Considering that Pacquiao almost lost to Thurman, who was arguably only 75%, it’s easy to see why Roach is fawning over him. Even with Thurman a depleted version of himself, he still came close to beating Pacquiao.
That was two years ago. Pacquiao is now 42, hasn’t fought since then, and he’s taking on the #1 welterweight in the division in Spence. It’s a terrible witches brew for Pacquiao on August 21st.
Roach says he wants Pacquiao to go after Spence right from the opening bell in round one and put him on his backside. He wants Pacquiao to pressure Spence for the full 12 rounds to see if he folds up.
Regardless of what Roach says about Thurman being the better fighter than Errol, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) has got his hands full in taking on the IBF/WBC welterweight champion next month on August 21.
Spence isn’t coming into the fight, with Spence having taken off 30+ lbs the way Thurman did when he fought the Filipino star two years ago in July 2019. Errol is also healthy and at the top of his game.
“I think Thurman is better than Spence,” said Freddie Roach to Morning Kombat when asked if there’s anything about Spence that concerns him ahead of his fight with Pacquiao.
“I watched tape on both guys [Thurman and Spence], and I studied them. I know both guys really well, and overall, I can see that he’s a better fighter,” said Roach.
What’s interesting is that Roach isn’t pushing for Manny to fight Thurman now that he’s in shape, not showing signs of being weight drained, and injury-free. Thurman wants a rematch with Pacquiao, but he’s gotten nowhere.
This writer smells fear. Pacquiao likely knows he’d lose to Thurman if they fought with him at 100%.
Thurman before his elbow injury against Danny Garcia in 2017 would have been a tough fight for the post-car crash version of Spence that we saw in his last fight against Danny Garcia.
Before his elbow injury and a long layoff, Thurman was on another level than the other welterweights division. Floyd Mayweather Jr clearly wanted no part of a fight with Thurman, as he never took him up on all the offers he made for a fight.
Mayweather chose Andre Berto over Thurman in 2016, even though he could have made more money fighting One Time. That showed that Mayweather knew he would have lost to Thurman.
“I told Manny, ‘Go put this guy [Spence] on his a** in the first round, and the momentum will head your way,” said Roach.
“We are going to start fast, and we’re going to be ready for 12 hard rounds. He [Spence] better be ready for 12 round fight. He will be ready for Spence,” said Roach about Pacquiao.
It sounds like Pacquiao will bum rush Spence and try to take him apart right away on August 21st. Why is Roach giving away the game plan for the Spence fight? If Pacquiao is really going to go after Spence right off the bat, he could be asking for trouble.
Of course, if this is the same Spence that we saw in his last fight against Danny Garcia in December of last year, Pacquiao might be able to dominate him.
Spence looked slow on his feet against Danny, and his reaction time to punches didn’t look like it was there for that fight. However, Spence had gained a lot of weight after his car cash in 2019.
Additionally, he might have been slowed down from draining back down to 147 after losing the weight.
“I would still love to fight him,” said Roach about wanting a rematch between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. “That fight was pretty close.
“I know Manny can do a lot better. That shoulder is completely healed now, and I would love to get that again. He [Mayweather] won’t even come to the table.
“He won’t even negotiate with us,” Roach said when asked why there was never a rematch between Mayweather and Pacquiao.
“If you watch that fight with no sound, it’s a pretty close fight. He won, but it wasn’t one-sided. It was back and forth,” said Roach.
The 44-year-old Mayweather knows he would lose to Pacquiao at this point in his life, so he’s not even going to entertain the idea of a second fight.
Mayweather has already shown that he can make a lot of money fighting non-boxers, and he’s not going to break from that model to face someone that can humiliate him like Pacquiao.
Roach should have convinced Pacquiao to postpone his fight with Mayweather in 2015 until his shoulder injury was healed. In hindsight, it was foolish for Pacquiao to face Mayweather with an injured right shoulder.
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