Manny Pacquiao: Keith Thurman no longer ‘rusty’, best available at 147
Manny Pacquiao is hoping Keith Thurman can put inactivity behind him when the pair meet on July 20 in Las Vegas.
The Eight-weight legend dons the gloves again in his 40’s. Pacquiao is the underdog on as he attempts to wrestle the WBA welterweight belt from Thurman’s possession.
Fighting at the MGM Grand once again, Pacquiao explained his reasoning for plucking Thurman out from the Premier Boxing Champions crowd.
“I believe Keith Thurman is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in boxing,” Pacquiao told Yahoo Sports. “That is why I am fighting him.
“He has faced and beaten two former welterweight champions, Robert Guerrero and Danny Garcia. And one current welterweight champion of the world, Shawn Porter.
“I have always looked for the best challenges in my career and Keith Thurman is an undefeated WBA super champion.
“He is the best 147 available at this time. I watched some video of Thurman and saw that he brings an exciting style to the ring. That’s what the fans want, two of the best going at it. I want to entertain the fans.”
On what kind of match-up he can expect with Thurman, Pacquiao added: “I liked the way he fought against Danny Garcia. I thought his style would match up well with mine.
“We are going to give the fans a great fight and an exciting night.”
Concluding on suggestions Thurman may be way past his prime due to a long-term injury, Pacquiao said: “I would say Keith Thurman has looked rusty in the past.
“I do not think that will be an issue when we fight because he has already fought once this year. I anticipate an action fight from him.”
Amir Khan was one of those claiming Thurman has now seen better days.
Speaking exclusively to World Boxing News earlier this month, Khan even believes Pacquiao could win at a canter.
“I think Manny Pacquiao v Keith Thurman is a good fight. For me, I just don’t feel Keith Thurman has got it in him anymore,” Khan explained to WBN.
“I mean his last performance – I’m just trying to compare what Keith Thurman did against Josesito Lopez to what Manny Pacquiao did against Adrien Broner.
“What would Manny Pacquiao have done to Josesito Lopez?
“I just think Keith doesn’t have it in him. I’m not sure what lifestyle he lives outside of the ring or whether being out of the ring so long has affected him.
“It’s hard to say, but I just feel Manny would have too much for him. Pacquiao still seems young and strong, even though he’s 40.
“We all know Manny is exciting and very hard to beat. Look how Manny dealt with Adrien Broner. He out-boxed him and made it look so easy.
“I swear Manny looks like a young fighter still. He also still fights like a young fighter. I think Keith Thurman is in for a lot of problems when they fight.
“I just don’t think Keith’s power is going to make a big difference against Pacquiao. It won’t cause Manny any problems and it’s nothing he hasn’t seen before.
“Manny has the speed and Keith is very one-paced. I think that will suit Manny Pacquiao.
“For me, I believe Manny will beat Thurman quite easily. It will be an easy fight for Pacquiao because he’s got so much speed and skill.
“Keith might punch hard, but Manny can too and he’ll cause a lot of problems,” stated the Bolton man.