Pacquiao trainer Roach piles pressure on Thurman ahead of Las Vegas showdown
Trouble, oh Keith’s got trouble, right here in sin city! With a capital “T” and that rhymes with “D” and that stands for DEMOLISHED! World-famous Freddie Roach, half Hall of Fame trainer and half Professor Harold Hill, was in a lyrical mood on Wednesday after watching boxer laureate Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) go through a light workout before heading over to the final press conference.
The amazin’ Manny, 40, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, is just two days away from challenging undefeated WBA welterweight super world champion ketchup king Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida. The Pacquiao – Thurman welterweight world title attraction headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, this Saturday, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“Thurman is ten years younger than Manny and Manny is the one who has been more active. This will be Manny’s third world title fight in 12 months! The pressure is all on Thurman to perform. I think he will make a show of it early and come after Manny.That’s when reality will set it,” said Roach.
“Thurman will try to keep up with Manny’s pace and that’s when ‘One Time’ finds out what it’s like to fight All Time. Thurman will then be faced with an unenviable choice. Does he run away from an old man like Broner, or get pushed around the ring by an old man, like Matthysse? Manny will have the Fighter of the Year award wrapped up after this one.”
A bemused Manny laughed out lout after hearing Freddie…but he didn’t disagree.
“There is a big percentage that this fight will not go 12 rounds. That is not a prediction, just my analysis. If he goes toe-to-toe with me that will be lovely. It will make it a shorter fight.” said Manny.
“Keith Thurman is a good fighter. His record shows that. His record also shows who he has fought. His era of opposition is a lot different than mine. The difference between the mentality of my era compared to Keith Thurman’s is I have a strong passion for the sport of boxing and he seems to have other interests.
“I still have something to prove at age forty. This is not about my legacy. It is about adding an important milestone to my résumé. It is about proving that at forty I can still fight anyone, that I am still relevant in boxing. I have pushed myself to the limit in training camp and I am prepared to push myself to the limit on July 20. Keith Thurman has talked a good game. We will see how far he is willing to push himself on Saturday night.”