Thurman: Maybe another fight in-between Lopez, Pacquiao would have helped(VIDEO)

Former world champion Keith Thurman fought his second fight in 2019 on Saturday night against Manny Pacquiao, but before his fight with Josesito Lopez back in January, Thurman was out of the ring for 22 months due to injuries, maybe that inactivity impacted his performance against Pacquiao.

Thurman(29-1, 22 KOs) was dropped in the first round and was hurt badly in the tenth as he lost by split-decision to the 40-year-old Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) in front of a sold-out crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With the victory, Pacquiao becomes the WBA super champion at 147, and Thurman suffers his first loss as a pro.

While the 30-year-old Thurman out-landed Pacquiao(210-195, according to Compubox), the Filipino legend threw more punches(686-571), which Thurman believes may have cost him the fight.

“We have seen champions and inactivity not favor them, from time to time, but I just thought that I would be able to counter him, utilize my jab from the outside, and really pressure him in the way that I did,” Thurman said after the fight. “Some of things that I wanted to do, I was able to do, but ultimately, I just really feel like, in retrospect, that I fell short on the numbers game.. Yeah, obviously, 22 months out of the game, Josesito Lopez and then Manny Pacquiao. I tried to stay active, but maybe another fight in-between would have helped.”

Maybe another tune-up fight would have helped Thurman against Pacquiao. However, he wanted a big money fight against Pacquiao, and he took his chance. There is still a lot of great matches for Thurman at 147, and we probably won’t see him again in 2019. But if he is smart, he gets back in the ring early 2020, so he can be as active as possible.

Photo/courtesy: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

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Pacquiao defeats Thurman by split-decision

Boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao dropped Keith “One Time” Thurman in round one and won a close split decision to earn a welterweight world title in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“It was fun,” said Pacquiao. “My opponent is a good fighter and boxer. He was strong. I’m not that kind of boxer who talks a lot; we were just promoting the fight. I think he did his best, and I did my best. I think we made the fans happy tonight because it was a good fight.”

The sell-out crowd of 14,356 got treated to great action from the start, as an exciting first round was capped off by Pacquiao dropping Thurman for the first time in his career with a straight right hand late in the round.

“I knew it was too close,” said Thurman. “He got the knockdown so he had momentum in round one.”

Thurman made it into the second round but continued to have trouble with Pacquiao’s right hand, as the future Hall of Famer threw it successfully as a jab and a power punch throughout the fight. Thurman adjusted in the middle rounds and began to try to smother Pacquiao and walk him down, having success when he was able to get his combinations off before his opponent.

Despite blood pouring from his nose from round four on, Thurman was able to land powerful combinations on Pacquiao for much of the second half of the fight, but was never able to hurt Pacquiao or score a knockdown of his own.

“I wish I had a little bit more output to go toe to toe,” said Thurman. “I felt like he was getting a little bit tired, but he did have experience in the ring. My conditioning and my output was just behind Manny Pacquiao’s. I would love the rematch.”

In round 10, Pacquiao’s landed a strong left hook to the body that clearly hurt Thurman and forced him to spend much of the remainder of the round backpedaling. The CompuBox scores were indicative of the close nature of the fight, with Thurman out landing Pacquiao 210 to 195, while Pacquiao was busier throwing 686 punches to 571 from Thurman.

“I really love the fans,” said Pacquiao. “Thank you so much for coming here and witnessing the fight. I’m sure they were happy tonight because they saw a good fight. Even though Thurman lost, he did his best. He’s not an easy opponent. He’s a good boxer and he’s strong. I was just blessed tonight.

Watch the round 10 highlight HERE

Pacquiao had a large advantage in jabs landed, connecting on 82 to Thurman’s 18. The 192 power punches landed by Thurman was the most in 43 Pacquiao fights that CompuBox has tracked. Round-by-round, the two fighters were only separated by more than five landed punches in rounds two, seven and nine.

After 12 rounds, the judges reached a split decision, with one judge scoring the fight 114-113 for Thurman, overruled by two judges scoring it 115-112 for Pacquiao, who captured the WBA Welterweight World Championship at 40-years-old.

“You get blessings and lessons,” said Thurman. “Tonight was a blessing and a lesson. Thank you everybody, and thank you Manny Pacquiao.”

“I think (I will fight) next year,” said Pacquiao. “I will go back to the Philippines and work and then make a decision. I do hope to be at the (Errol) Spence vs. (Shawn) Porter fight on September 28.”

Photo: Ryan Hafney/PBC

Morales, Barrera, Wright, Porter give their thoughts on Pacquiao-Thurman

All-time boxing greats Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera and Winky Wright, plus WBC Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter, previewed the Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman showdown for media on Thursday ahead the PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event taking place this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Two of the most popular Mexican fighters of their generation, Morales and Barrera both offered special insight into what it takes to match up against Pacquiao. A former four-division world champion, Morales faced Pacquiao three times, winning once, while Barrera, a three-division champion, battled Pacquiao twice, losing both contests.

A long-reigning 154-pound world champion during his career, Wright is from the same Tampa-area that Thurman hails from and has known Thurman since childhood. He was also trained by Thurman’s head coach Dan Birmingham. Porter and Thurman engaged in one of 2016’s most exciting fights, as Porter lost a narrow decision to Thurman before Porter went on to become a two-time welterweight champion last September. 

Here is what the legends had to say Thursday from MGM Grand:

ERIK MORALES

 “To win that fight I was very technical against Manny Pacquiao and that’s what Thurman needs to do and be prepared for, which I was on that night.

“You definitely have to have a good strategy against Manny Pacquiao, and you have to have your timing right against him because he will slip out. So you have to work on that, and if he gets out, you have to start again and pressure him. 

“I’m definitely surprised that Pacquiao is still fighting at this age, due to the fact that he’s been through so many wars. So it’s definitely interesting that he’s still fighting at this high of a level. Then again, I’m not surprised because mentally and physically he’s still training and still maintaining a great training regiment, which he has always maintained all throughout his career.”

 MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA

 “When you’re facing Manny Pacquiao, you know that he’s a strong, explosive, fast fighter. It’s very impactful when you see him there in front of you, but we have Morales here who was one of few men to beat him, so it is possible.

 “It’s very difficult to face Pacquiao. He’s a lefty and sometimes he jumps a meter away from you and then he’s right back in front of you. I’m a fighter that’s very technical so that made it even harder to hit Manny Pacquiao.

 “Pacquiao puts in a lot of pressure and is always on top of you. Psychologically it’s a tough fight to fight Manny Pacquiao at any time because you think that he is going to go back but then he switches it up. He maintains a constant pressure on you mentally. 

 “Pacquiao hits to the body a lot. When he hits that left right into the stomach, it’s devastating. That’s how he hit me in that first fight that we had. Now he’s fighting a younger guy, 10 years younger than him, he is really going to work the body on Saturday.

 “At the end of the day we all get nervous when we go into the ring especially with such a big event. But once you get into the ring and start fighting, you start adapting to it and then the plan of attack that you have been training for comes into play.”

 WINKY WRIGHT

 When I first met Keith Thurman it was clear the incredible power this young kid had as well as his will to win. I think Manny Pacquiao is a great fighter and he will come out throwing a lot of punches, but I think Keith Thurman’s jabs and movements are harder than Manny thinks.

“Every fighter bets on himself or believes in himself. When I fought I bet on myself because I believed I was going to win no matter what. Keith is a fighter that believes in his ability. He believes that he’s going to go out there and knock Manny Pacquiao out. How he does it is a different thing.

“Manny is a fighter that’s in and out. He has great movement and can throw quick punches. He’s tough but father time is undefeated. Father time will get everyone. We were all great at one point but as you get older you lose that step and that one tenth of a second that took us from being great to being normal.

 “That fight against Josesito Lopez allowed Keith to get his timing back and get back into the ring and remember what it feels like to get hit. Shawn put a lot of pressure on fighters. and most can’t see how much pressure he puts on. By seeing the fight with Shawn and seeing the fight with Lopez, Keith is showing you his diverse boxing game. A lot of people don’t understand that.

 “Manny can hurt you, he throws a lot of good body shots, a lot of good strong shots and he can hurt you. But, I just think Keith is on his game right now. If he dictates Manny’s ability to jump in and out, then he can win this fight.

 “Manny Pacquiao looks good hitting the mitts and the bags but the bags don’t hit back. Fighters will tell you that all the time. The mitts don’t hit back, but Keith Thurman hits back. Manny Pacquiao hits back. Whichever fighter can impose their will on the other fighter, that’s the fighter that’s going to win.”

 SHAWN PORTER

 “We all know what Manny has done. He’s a living legend and you cannot take that away from him. I think when the fight was announced everyone saw the young lion coming out and taking over, but I think that as people are started to look at this fight as a whole, they are starting to see that Manny Pacquiao is Manny Pacquiao. I think he’s the favorite to win this fight for a reason.

 “Keith is not out of character at all this promotion. One thing about Keith is he does not say anything that he does not mean. He believes in everything he says. The confidence that you see coming from him now is very real. The number one thing about Keith is that he has the will to win. With 29 wins and 0 losses, he figures out a way to do it and I think going into this fight he says the way he is going to beat Manny is by destroying him and making him retire. He believes that he can do that within three rounds. I’m not mad at him. I’m a firm believer that he’s going to go out there and try to put the gas to the pedal really quick and try to get Manny out of there. 

 “Traditionally these kind of generation vs. generation matchups happen. It hasn’t happened in a very long time in boxing, but this is a part of the tradition. There’s always a guy that comes and takes over by taking out the guy who’s considered to be the legend. Since Mayweather has made his exit, everyone is putting Manny Pacquiao in that position again.

 “The fact that this fight is happening is the best part about it. There’s so many different variables that add up in this fight. I think that that’s the best part about this matchup. It’s really interesting and exciting. I can pick Manny or he can pick Keith but at the end of the day, we all have to watch on Saturday night. I think it’s going to be a big explosion.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Thurman: ‘Manny(Pacquiao) isn’t going to do anything with the little ‘T-Rex’ arm’

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pacquiao: ‘My opponent is very good at talking, but we’ll see what happens in the ring’

Two of boxing biggest stars kicked off fight week in style on Tuesday as eight-division world champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao and unbeaten WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman made their grand arrivals at MGM Grand before their highly-anticipated Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View showdown this Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

Also making their grand arrivals Tuesday were undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant and undefeated contender Mike Lee, who battle in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event Saturday night preceding the pay-per-view.

Tuesday event also featured fighters competing on the PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View undercard that begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Unbeaten former champion Omar “El Panterita” Figueroa Jr will face top contender Yordenis Ugas in WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator, hard-hitting former champion Sergey Lipinets clashes against John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. in a welterweight duel and former bantamweight championLuis Nery, who takes on former champion Juan Carlos Payano.

 Plus, rising heavyweight sensation Efe Ajagba and unbeaten Ali Eren Demirezen made their arrivals ahead of their FOX PBC Fight Night co-main event that kicks off the broadcast on FOX and FOX Deportes at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

 Here’s what Thurman and Pacquiao, Plant had to say on Tuesday to the fans that greeted them at MGM Grand:

 MANNY PACQUIAO

 “I consider this fight one of the most important of my career because I am 40 I want to prove something. My opponent is very good at talking, but we’ll see what happens in the ring.

 “Boxing is a science. You have to study. Not only when you have a scheduled fight, but you have to always be studying boxing. That’s allowed me to have the career that I have.

 “It would mean a lot to be 40-years-old and beat someone undefeated. It shows that I can still fight against the best.”

 KEITH THURMAN

 “This does feel like making all my dreams come true. Whether it’s an Olympian striving for that gold medal, or if it’s a kid just trying to get an A on their report card, as human beings we challenge ourselves and we set goals. This goal has been in motion for 23 years.

 “I’ve always wanted to be remembered in the sport of boxing. I want people to understand that when Keith Thurman is in the ring, he’s bringing some of the most exciting fights that can be made in the welterweight division.

 “When it’s all over, I just want people to say, ‘you know what, I really did enjoy watching Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.'”

Spence on Pac-Thurman: ‘I think Keith will edge it out’

On Saturday, one of the biggest fights in the welterweight division will happen when Manny Pacquiao battles Keith Thurman at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

This is a fight that could go either way, and one guy who is waiting in the wings is IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Spence is expected to battle Shawn Porter in a unification fight sometime in the fall.

Recently, Spence gave his thoughts on Pacquiao-Thurman, and according to Spence, Thurman is the guy that will get the nod on July 20.

“It just depends on which Pacquiao shows up and which Keith shows up,” Spence said. “I think Keith will be a lot sharper than he was in his last fight. You know he had a long layoff and is just coming back. Keith is a lot tougher than people think he is. He took a lot of punches in that last fight. He took a lot of punches in the Shawn Porter fight, too.

“He might be a boxer, but he’s tough, and he’s gritty, so I think he’s going to win a split-decision or he’s going to blow him out. It just depends on which Pacquiao comes out. If he can turn the tables a little bit and become the Pacquiao of back then, I think he can win. But if it’s the Pacquiao that fought Broner, then I think Keith will edge him out and outpoint him. Keith can get on his bicycle and move around and just pot shot him. I think Keith will edge it out.”

 

Pac: ‘Thurman reminds me most of Hatton; Will it be the same result?’

When Manny Pacquiao fought Ricky Hatton in 2009, he was a buzzsaw. The fight against Hatton was apart of the best run in Pacquiao’s career, which featured wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao has beaten a lot of great fighters and has seen a lot of different styles, which should help him when he battles Keith Thurman on July 20 in Las Vegas, and according to Pacquiao, when he sees Thurman, he sees Hatton.

“Thurman reminds me the most of Ricky Hatton, of fighters that I’ve faced,” Pacquiao said at his media workout on Wednesday. “Will it be the same result? You never know.”

Pacquiao knocked Hatton out cold in the second round, and he believes he could do the same to Thurman.

“It’s going to be another page of my story on Saturday, July 20,” Pacquiao said. “There’s a big chance that this fight is not going the distance. I’ll be prepared, but I’m thinking it’s not going 12 rounds.”

The 40-year-old Pacquiao might not be the dynamo he was once, but he still can get it done as he showed against Adrien Broner back in January, and he still believes he has what it takes to continue to win big fights.

“I always feel like I have the ability to beat any fighter out there. I’m still in this sport, and I’m planning on a lot more memorable victories.”

If Pacquiao defeats Thurman, more big fights will come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurman on Pacquiao fight: ‘My prediction? Less than six rounds’

Undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman hosted media at the St. Pete Boxing Club in Florida Wednesday as he showed off his skills in advance of his Saturday, July 20 showdown against eight-division world boxing champion Senator Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao.

The FOX pay-per-view begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is highlighted by this high-stakes match that will firmly give the winner a claim for the top spot in one of boxing’s deepest and most talented divisions.

According to Thurman, this is the biggest fight of his career and his moment to shine bright.

“This is history in the making. This is one of the best fights all year. This is the biggest fight of my career,” Thurman said.  “You see a lot of fight posters in this gym; I remember when Winky Wright, fought ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley. I remember when he fought ‘Tito’ Trinidad. For me, this is my Mosley. This is my ‘Tito’ Trinidad moment. I get to show the world that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is not just a great champion; he can beat legends.

“I’ve always told everybody since the day that I was first on TV. I called out the world champions then. They didn’t know who Keith Thurman was, but I was trying to let the world know that Keith Thurman belongs at the top, and now the world is finally understanding why.”

Before defeating Josesito Lopez in January, Thurman was out of the ring for almost two years. Now, he will be getting back in the ring for the second time this year, which is good news for Thurman.

“It’s really good for me to have this momentum back,” Thurman said. “This is the first time in four years that I have fought twice in one year, and it’s not just twice in one year, it’s twice in almost six months. I’ve taken the momentum of getting the dust brushed off of us in January against Josesito Lopez. We hired two conditioning coaches in preparation for this fight so that I can give the fight fans, along with myself, a tremendous performance next Saturday.

“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. We’re craftsmen. We’re tile workers, woodworkers, 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.”

What will happen on July 20 in Las Vegas? Thurman has a prediction.

“My prediction? Less than six rounds. I would love to be 30-0 with 23 knockouts. We’ve got 22, and we’ve held those 22 knockouts for a little too long. It’s time to get one more knockout.”

Photo: Damon Gonzalez/TGB Promotions

Roach: ‘The lack of activity explains why Thurman has looked worse and worse over his last three fights’

For WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman(29-0, 22 KOs), fighting Josesito Lopez back in January was an opportunity to get back in the ring after two years away due to injuries, and more importantly, a chance to shake off some rust.

While Thurman was not at his best, and at one point it seemed he could get stopped after getting battered in round 7. He survived and won the fight. Now, he has a shot for more glory on July 20 at the MGM Garden Grand Arena in Las Vegas when he battles Manny Pacquiao(61-7-2, 39 KOs).

Throughout the promotion for Pacquiao-Thurman, one of Pacquiao’s trainers, Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, has been very open about his thoughts on Thurman, and on Thursday, it continued.

“The only hot dog Manny is thinking about is Keith Thurman,” Roach said. “Thurman talks a good game, but we’ll see if he can cut the mustard with Manny on July 20.  Manny is 10 years Thurman’s senior, and yet this will be Manny’s third world championship fight over the past 12 months.  Activity keeps fighters sharp.  The lack of activity explains why Thurman has looked worse and worse over his last three fights. He’s like the Jeff Bridges character in The Big Lebowski.  He just seems to be fighting as little as possible to keep his title.  Only Thurman’s not The Dude; he’s The Dud.  Manny will sizzle, and Thurman will fizzle when they battle it out in the ring at the MGM Grand on July 20.  After that, it will be champagne and Lobster Thurmandor for us.  Happy Fourth of July!”

Thurman’s last three fights, all wins, have been against Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Lopez. That’s a tough three fights, so while he has not been the most active and had only three fights in three years, the only time he did not look at his best was against Lopez, which he fought after two years out of the ring.

However, if he wants to beat Pacquiao, Thurman has to be at very best because even at age 40, Pacquiao is still one of the top fighters at 147.

Photo: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions
 

Roach: ‘Thurman is slower than Heinz ketchup’

Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) is a few weeks away from his battle with undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs)at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV), and he is working hard to get the victory.

According to Team Pacquiao, he has daily morning runs of three to five miles with hundreds of fans trailing, followed by one thousand sit-ups and assorted drills, afternoons at the gym, filled with 10 rounds of sparring, 10-12 rounds of mitts with Freddie and Buboy Fernandez, endless rounds of heavy bag and speed bag work, are capped off with another 1,000 sit-ups.

There is a lot of confidence in his corner, which includes one of his trainers, Freddie Roach.

“Manny is so unbelievably fast,” Roach said. “He’s 40 years old and moving around the ring with the same speed he had when he was just a seven-division world champion,” said Roach. “Manny has Keith Thurman’s number.  Thurman is slower than Heinz ketchup.  Manny is going to beat him 57 ways on July 20.  The fans know it, and the sports books know it.  Manny has gone from underdog to a betting favorite.  Manny is money for this fight. It’s going to be champagne and Lobster Thurmandor for us!”

Thurman may not have faster hands than Pacquiao, but he is far from slow. However, at age 40, Pacquiao may not be what he once was, but he still has a lot of left. How much he has left will be determined on July 20.