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.'”

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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.

 

 

Roach: If Thurman comes straight, he is going to be cooked

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) is back, and the sports world is for the better because of it. Pacquiao will battle Keith Thurman(29-0, 22 KOs) on Saturday, July 20, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

After how he looked in January when he defeated Adrien Broner by unanimous decision, forty may just be a number to Pacquiao, but Thurman will be a much tougher opponent for Pacquiao. Thurman, unlike Broner, is a guy who throws punches and will be more willing to trade with Pacquiao, but according to one of Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, he wouldn’t be surprised if Thurman became Pacquiao’s fortieth knockout victim.

“If Thurman comes straight in and goes after Manny, which I think he will, he is going to be cooked,” Roach said. “Chef Manny will be serving him up on a platter like Lobster Thurmandor.”

Thurman, 30, did not look very sharp back in January when he beat Josesito Lopez. However, he was away from the sport for two years due to injury, so rust is understandable.

Can Pacquiao continue to turn back the clock against Thurman or will Thurman show the world that there is a new guard at 147? We shall see!

 Photo credit: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions

Pacquiao: ‘Keith Thurman does not scare me; Keith Thurman does not intimidate me’

Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) returns to Freddie Roach’s Hollywood-based Wild Card Boxing Club to begin phase two of his training camp in preparation for his rumble with undefeated WBA  welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida  — his third world championship fight in the past 12 months.   

What a whirlwind journey it has been for the Amazin’ Manny over the past 11 months.  It started out with him knocking out defending WBA welterweight world champion Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round of  their July 15, 2018 bout, which took place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.  He returned to the ring, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, on January 19, and blitzed former four-division world champion Adrien Broner.  And next month, at age 40 1/2, he will look to complete his world welterweight championship hat trick against Thurman.  And in between?  There has been no down time for Manny.  He maintains a schedule that keeps the international icon thriving.  Manny traveled to the United Kingdom at the invitations of the prestigious Oxford Union and Cambridge Union to speak about his life and answer questions from the student members on consecutive days.  Then it was back to the Philippines and his duties as a Senator.

Up until last week’s Senate recess, it was 14 to 16-hour days divided into two-part rigorous training sessions and a full work day dedicated to his senatorial duties. Once the Philippine Senate session ended, on June 7, Team Pacquiao returned home to General Santos City to focus on training

“At age forty I want to prove I can still beat an undefeated champion,” said Manny.  “I like being an underdog in this fight.  It is nothing new and it is fun.  I have been an underdog my entire life.  Keith Thurman does not scare me.  Keith Thurman does not intimidate me.  Keith Thurman has inspired me.  I am training harder than ever.  This is the biggest test of my career.  It is a story that is forty years in the making.”

Now it’s off to Hollywood, California and his second home, Wild Card Boxing Club,  where Manny will endure the most intensive part of his training in preparation for his title fight against Thurman.  Holidays will be work days for this training camp.  Manny plans to hold off on celebrating July 4.  He will set off his fireworks when he steps into the ring with Thurman.

Thurman: ‘All Manny does is hop around in the ring; I’m not going to lose to a bunny rabbit’

Immediately after defeating Josesito Lopez back in January, WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman(29-0, 22 KOs) called out Manny Pacquiao(61-7-2, 39 KOs), and now, he will get his wish. Thurman will battle Pacquiao on July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas(FOX PPV).

Pacquiao, 40, fights with such frenetic energy. He goes in and out, and back and forth, and while Thurman did not look that great against Lopez, he still believes he has the style to handle Pacquiao.

“All Manny does is hop around in the ring; I’m not going to lose to a bunny rabbit,” Thurman said at a press conference on Thursday. “He’s not Tupac, but he does a little hip hop, and he’s not going to stop until he gets dropped.

“Manny is a world-class fighter, not a world class boxer. I’m going to trip him up in the ring, and he won’t know what direction to turn to. I know who I am as a fighter, and it will be proven come July 20.”

When Thurman, 30, first came on the scene, he called out all the champions, and he believed if he would have gotten Pacquiao five years ago, the result would be what it is going to be on July 20, and that is a Thurman victory.

“This is a big fight as far as the stage goes, but it’s a big fight against a little guy,” Thurman said. “He’s a veteran, and I’ve dismantled veterans in the past. I believe I would have destroyed Manny Pacquiao five years ago. I’ve always been ready for this fight. He’s never fought someone like me with this kind of lateral movement, speed, and power. I’m coming for him.”

In the end, Thurman expects to end Pacquiao’s career.

“I’m destroying the legend of Manny Pacquiao. His legacy ends on July 20 and mine begins. He’s an inspiration to many people throughout the world, and everyone respects him, but I’m respectfully going to finish him.”

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/Mayweather Promotions

Pacquiao-Thurman set for July 20 on FOX PPV

In the biggest night of boxing this year, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, Senator Manny “Pac Man’’ Pacquiao, will take on undefeated WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith “One Time” Thurman on Saturday, July 20 in a blockbuster showdown that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event.

Adding to the excitement of the evening, PBC will present 2-hours of boxing action with undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant making his first title defense against unbeaten contender Mike Lee in the main event of PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes show taking place in the same ring where Pacquiao and Thurman will later battle for welterweight supremacy.

Further details will be announced soon.