09
Aug
2020

Exclusive: Keith Thurman told to end Manny Pacquiao pursuit by southpaw

Phil Jay 17/07/2020
Keith Thurman Manny Pacquiao

Stephanie Trapp

Former welterweight champion Keith Thurman has been urged to give up on chasing a possible rematch with Manny Pacquiao for the coming months.

‘One Time’ was beaten quite convincingly against the Filipino Senator in July 2019 but that hasn’t stopped the American calling for a second helping.

Thurman has made it clear on more than one occasion that Pacquiao is one of his main targets.

Kell Brook, who lost his IBF belt to Errol Spence Jr, has given Thurman an alternative option.

Despite this, one US-based South African told the 31-year-old to end his pursuit and look no further than giving him the opportunity.

Enter ex-IBO title-holder and IBF International ruler Chris Van Heerden. He is certainly ready and willing to offer Thurman a route back into action.

Van Heerden knows Thurman is unlikely to get a post-COVID clash with either Pacquiao or Brook due to restrictions and would be on board with or without fans.

‘The Heat’ is even open to being an interim bout for Thurman in order to get the puncher in the ring and cause a shock.

“I’m a perfect matchup for Keith Thurman right now,” Van Heerden exclusively told World Boxing News.

If he were to fight Pacquiao again or Spence. Or even get a crack at Terence Crawford, all southpaws, I’m the perfect guy,

“Plus, I already fought Spence. Keith hasn’t fought in a year. It’s perfect for TV. I know I will beat him.”

Chris Van Heerden Errol Spence
Lucas Noonan / PBC

Manager Peter Kahn, who has guided Van Heerden’s recent career, added: “Thurman is out there chasing Pacquiao rematch. It doesn’t make sense.

“Now, he’s calling out Kell Brook. But why not Van Heerden?

“Chris is a southpaw. His only real loss was to Spence. But in that fight, he looked better than Brook did (when losing his title to The Truth).

“We know that fighting a southpaw could make sense for Thurman in advance of any Spence fight he thinks he might be able to get.”


PROOF AFTER MANNY PACQUIAO

Dropped in the very first round against Manny Pacquiao, Thurman has a lot to prove following an extensive spell out prior to his comeback.

Many believe Thurman’s best days are behind him. Facing Van Heerden would be a good yardstick to gauge where he’s currently at.

Furthermore, Van Heerden is a test for anyone and has proved it on many occasions in the past.

Phil Jay is Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay