WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman(29-0, 22 KOs) has talked, and talked, and talked some more for weeks as he prepared for his battle against Manny Pacquiao(61-7-2, 39 KOs), and on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, it will be his job to back up the talk.
The talking continued on Wednesday night at the final press conference, which will be the last time these two fighters go face-to-face until the weigh-in on Friday.
“Manny isn’t going to do anything with the little ‘T-Rex’ arm,” Thurman said. “He’s about to get beat up. I get to punch a Senator in the face, and he’s going to feel it. If he’s upset about it, he can do something about it Saturday night. It’s called swing, swing, swing baby.”
For Pacquiao, Thurman’s bluster goes in one ear and out the other.
“I’m just always smiling no matter what Keith says,” Pacquiao said. “It’s easy to say things, but it’s not easy to do it in the ring. I’ve been in this sport longer than Keith Thurman, so my experience will be the difference.”
The last time we saw the 30-year-old Thurman, back in January, rust was a factor, but he was able to overcome it to decision Josesito Lopez. In his 29 victories, Thurman has stopped 22 of his opponents, and on Saturday, he wants to showcase that power against Pacquiao.
“I say I’m going to put him to sleep because I’ve got power,” Thurman said. “I want to remind the world of something. Something very simple: I’m Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman. I have the name for a reason — not a short season.
“I feel like I’ve made boxing history. When I beat Danny Garcia, we were two undefeated welterweight champions. In boxing history, there haven’t been many times when WBA and the WBC was unified with two undefeated welterweights. But, I don’t think it’s enough to really solidify a legacy. So, I do need the victory to further my own personal legacy come Saturday night.”
No matter what Thurman brings to the table, and no matter how much he talks, the 40-year-old Pacquiao feels he has done enough in camp to win this fight.
“We did our best in training, and I believe we are physically ready, as well as spiritually ready. I expect a good fight so tune-in Saturday. The way Thurman spoke today, I hope he will live up to it on Saturday.”
Photo: Frank Micelotta/FOX Sports