EXCLUSIVE: Keith Thurman says Manny Pacquiao ‘hands felt like cement’

Manny Pacquiao

Stephanie Trapp

Former welterweight world champion Keith Thurman has described the power punches he faced from former opponent Manny Pacquiao in 2019.

The pair met in a hot summer at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, with Pacquiao dropped Thurman in the first round.

Pacquiao then went on to see out a decisive twelve-round points win. After which, Thurman was the subject of several rants by former Mike Tyson trainer Teddy Atlas.

The outspoken coach and podcast presenter hinted at something untoward going on with Pacquiao and reopened old unproven wounds aimed at the Filipino Senator.

Asked for his view on what Atlas said about performance enhancing drugs, Thurman gave a candid response.

“Listen, I did not regulate any form of testing in that fight,” Thurman exclusively told World Boxing News.

“He did do the majority of his training camp in the Philippines, and his hands felt like cement, so, Teddy, you tell me!

“My focus is on how to train and show up. Teddy sounds like he knows a few more things about the industry than I do.

“My question is – What do you have to do to beat Keith Thurman?”

Manny Pacquiao
Stephanie Trapp

Giving a reflection on his overall performance to WBN, ‘One Time’ added: “I made a few bad choices, like moving straight backward when I was dominating in the first round.” he pointed out.

“In turn, that caused the flash knockdown. It was an amateurish mistake. I felt that I walked him down with a lot of pride, showing him how strong I was.

“I wasn’t focused on winning rounds right away. In rounds six and seven, I woke up and made my come back. But he had a good punch.

“In the tenth round, that might have been what decided the fight.”


MANNY PACQUIAO REMATCH?

Another lengthy spell out of action has followed for Thurman, who has had his fair share of career-hampering injuries.

Making no excuses, Thurman admits he has to make the final few years of his tenure count as much as possible.

“I fell short in 2019. It wasn’t my best year due to the layoff. So this time, I haven’t been out as much as I was in 2019.

“Apart from rust and dust and a little bit of hesitation, that was my downfall.

“Later this summer and bring them all on. Manny, Danny (Garcia), Errol (Spence), Shawn (Porter), (Yordenis) Ugas. I want my belts back,” he concluded.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.