Keith Thurman believes he’s put injuries behind him as the WBA welterweight champion prepares for his toughest test versus Manny Pacquiao.
‘One Time’ puts undefeated record on the line in a bid to upset the odds which has swung in Pacquiao’s favor slightly.
Like the excellent Fanduel sign up bonus, Thurman’s odds are good if you fancy a flutter on the younger champion against the older legend.
Ahead of this weekend’s massive battle at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Thurman stated he doesn’t feel like the underdog.
“There’s always a question of will I get injured again. As a puncher you can always find ways to hurt your hands. Hands were not made to punch each other in the skull,” said Thurman.
“We’re craftsmen. We’re tile workers, wood workers, mechanical workers. These hands were designed for something a little different, but luckily with different forms of therapy
“We feel confident for this fight and pray that we stay healthy in the future so that we can keep giving the world tremendous fights.
“The time is now. I can’t be the underdog because I am the undefeated champion of the world. He’s the legend, but I have 10 years of youth on my side.
“However, we’ve seen world champions and legends do tremendous things at later dates. For example, Bernard Hopkins won the world title at 45 years old.
“Is Manny Pacquiao that kind of world champion? Keith Thurman will be the first one to find out.”
Dan Birmingham, Thurman’s Trainer was in confident mood.
“I think he’s the top of this division. I think he’s the very best out there, I really do.
Keith has a new focus and increased intensity for this one. He’s anxious to fight and anxious to train. His power, ferociousness and tenacity will be a problem for Manny. We’ve only increased that in this camp.
“We’ve mixed up sparring with some guys who are like Manny in some ways, but are also tough, strong fighters who can take a punch. You’ve got to be tough to box with Keith.”
Pacquiao v Thurman takes place this Saturday night in FOX PPV and features a stellar card of action.
In the co-feature, Caleb Plant battles Mike Lee, which former WBC champion Luis Nery also participates on the bill.
A welterweight double-header sees the dangerous Yordenis Ugas face Omar Figueroa Jr. and Sergey Lipinets opposite the entertaining John Molina Jr.