The PBC mega-fight Play-By-Play between undefeated Keith “One Time” Thurman and ring legend Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao On FOX is only a few days away, and both fighters are confident heading into the WBA welterweight championship on July 20 in Las Vegas.
Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman have a combined 90-7-2 record with 61 career knockouts. These elite welterweight boxers are now set to collide in Las Vegas on Saturday with WBA supremacy on the line. This could be the final fight for Pacquiao, a 40-year-old legend with diverse interests ranging from politics to acting.
When it was announced that Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2) and Keith Thurman (29-0-1) would be going toe-to-toe the immediate reaction for many was, “Why!?”. Manny Pacquiao is one of boxings greats and is surely on the decline. While Keith Thurman is only 30 years old and in his prime. The fight doesn’t make sense! Those were the thoughts many boxing fans had.
Thurman, meanwhile, is just 30 and looking to cement himself as one of the top names in the sport. He has a 73 percent career knockout rate and will hold the advantage in height and reach. The latest Pacquiao vs. Thurman odds, however, give the edge to experience and list Pacquiao as the -145 favorite (risk $145 to win $100), with Thurman going off as the underdog at +125 (risk $100 to win $125).
Pacquiao who at 40, is still competing at the highest levels of the sport said Thurman’s disrespect and trash talk has motivated him to teach the arrogant young champion a lesson in the ring.
With so much on the line at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, be sure to see the boxing predictions from SportsLine guru Peter Kahn before locking in any Pacquiao vs. Thurman picks of your own.
A fight game veteran with over 20 years of experience as a manager, promoter and adviser, he has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on inside and outside the ring. He can be heard weekly as co-host of “The Fight Guys” podcast on the SB Nation Radio Network, and he just did a long sitdown interview with Thurman.
Manny Pacquiao is definitely getting to the point of retirement, he is 40 and has been in many boxing matches with hard hitting action – although they were mostly in the earlier part of his career. While Keith Thurman might not have the amount of fights his opponent has, he is one of the best in the world right now, especially in the Welterweight division.
Thurman came to the media round table on Tuesday at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas, looking slim and in shape. He also claimed he will trade blows with Pacquiao in the middle of the ring.
This is the same expert who nailed Pacquiao’s last two fights, delivering huge profits. Kahn told readers last summer to back Pacquiao at +550 to knock out Lucas Matthysse. The result: Pacquiao knocked him out in the seventh round. Then, Kahn told his followers to bet Pacquiao over Adrien Broner. Pacquiao dominated in a lopsided, unanimous decision, and anyone who followed Kahn’s lead hit it big.
Being away from the sport for nearly two years due to injuries, the WBA Super Welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman returned to boxing this past January. He fought a very game and tough Josesito Lopez who took the champion all 12 rounds. Thurman ended up winning by majority decision and admitted the Lopez fight was a tune-up.
“He (Pacquiao) might slip a few punches in. He might catch me off guard,” said Thurman. “Like I said in the Face to Face, it’s just another fight. It’s just another black eye. Ain’t nothing we ain’t never felt before. If he gets me down, he better have me out because I’m coming. I want to trade with Pacquiao.”
For Thurman’s last fight, even though it was a mismatch versus Lopez, Kahn told readers to back the fight going the distance at +170. “After 22 months off, it doesn’t matter who you are, there’s no amount of sparring that could replace real rounds during a real fight,” Kahn wrote about Thurman’s pre-fight layoff.
“It’s going to take some time for Thurman to shake off the ring rust even against a carefully selected opponent who not going to give him any trouble.” Thurman won a majority decision and Kahn’s followers scored again.
While Keith Thurman was recovering from injuries, Manny Pacquiao was keeping busy inside the ring. He lost (?) a title fight to Jeff Horn – which many didn’t think he did. Then went on to win his next two fights.
The fight against Lucas Matthysse, where he won the title he still holds (WBA Regular Welterweight), looked like the Manny Pacquiao of old. It only took seven rounds for Pacquaio to stop Matthysse. Earlier this year Pacquiao fought Adrien Broner – a fight the champion wasn’t supposed to win. But he did, a unanimous decision victory.
“Sugar” Shane Mosley a former Pacquiao opponent and future hall of famer said the Filipino Senator hit him with surprising power that he didn’t expect. Other former Pacquiao foes like Chris Algieri also commented in the past about his power being “shocking”.
Now, Kahn has broken down Pacquiao vs. Thurman like only he can and released his best bets. You can only see them at SportsLine.
The fight against Matthysse is when Manny Pacquiao put the boxing world and the Welterweight division on notice that he wasn’t done yet. Also that he can still hang with younger fighters.
Kahn knows that entering the blockbuster bout, Thurman will look to use his size and strength as an advantage. In particular, he’ll look to keep Pacquiao at distance with his jab and dictate where the action takes place in the ring. In his last loss to Jeff Horn, Pacquiao dropped a decision because Horn used his size to become the aggressor in the fight.
“Thurman will look to mitigate Pacquiao’s activity, angles, southpaw stance and punches in bunches by keeping Pacquiao at arm’s length,” Kahn told SportsLine.
Thurman is also one of the hardest punchers in the welterweight division and has had six months off since his majority decision win over Josesito Lopez in his comeback fight. He’ll be looking to prove a point on the Las Vegas Strip and vault his name back towards the top of the welterweight division.
Enter Keith “One Time” Thurman. One of the Welterweight divisions toughest, and hardest hitting fighters and like Pacquiao, a champion. To many, Thurman is regarded as the pound-for-pound best Welterweight in the world.
In thirty fights, Keith Thurman has finished twenty two by knockout. The “One Time” nickname comes due to his knockout power. While Thurman might be the harder hitter between the two, we shouldn’t sleep on Pacquiao and his knockout power. In seventy fights, thirty nine of his wins have come via a knockout. Sure most of those knockouts came many years ago, but as he showed in the Matthysse fight, the power is still there.
Kahn also knows that Pacquiao has bounced back well after falling via unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, taking four of five fights since. He had a surprising setback against Australia’s Jeff Horn in the summer of 2017, but one year leader took down Lucas Matthysse via technical knockout.
It is likely Manny Pacquiao will not win with a knockout due to how tough Keith Thurman is. If anything, he will have to out-class and out-smart his opponent. Pacquiao will hope to not get hit too hard by Thurman’s power punches and win on points if it goes to a decision.
In January, at the same MGM Grand Garden Arena ring he’ll be fighting in on Saturday, he beat Adrien Broner via unanimous decision. Pacquiao will be unfazed by the raucous crowd and worldwide stage.
On the other hand, Thurman is the fighter with the most power. One hard shot could be the end for Manny Pacquiao. Thurman will have to defend against Pacquiao’s speed and combinations, which is still very much a difference maker in fights.
While the numbers might point to Thurman in several categories, it’s tough to overstate the importance of Pacquiao’s experience in the ring.
The respect is thrown out once the fighters are face-to-face inside the boxing ring. This fight is no different. Expect a classic boxing match between two of the sports best. Whether it goes all twelve or there is a finish, the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman is one for fans of combat sports – not just boxing.
He’s been knocked out just once since 1999, so this fight has a strong chance of going the full 12 rounds. That could give Pacquio, a technical master known for his ability to pace and manage a fight, the edge if it goes to a decision.
Boxing is back, and it’s fans should be too. Start by watching an all time great go up against a hungry champion. Manny Pacquiao versus Keith Thurman, don’t sleep on it!