Holyfield, Hopkins, Thurman, others predict the outcome of Spence-Garcia

Boxing legends, champions, top fighters and trainers gave their predictions for the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View main event between unified welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and two-division champion Danny “Swift” Garcia ahead of their showdown this Saturday, December 5 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Buy the pay-per-view now on www.foxsports.com/ppv and watch on any screen.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, Man Down Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on sale now, and can be purchased at SeatGeek.com, the Official Ticketing Provider of AT&T Stadium.

Of those polled, 20 predicted that Spence would retain his titles, while 16 favored Garcia to come out with the victory on Saturday night. Here is what the predictors had to say about the highly anticipated welterweight clash:

Evander Holyfield, Boxing Legend

Spence W 12: Errol Spence is a very technical fighter, and Danny Garcia’s a great counter-puncher. But Errol is the best, so I’ve got Errol winning by decision.

Bernard Hopkins, Boxing Legend

Garcia UD 12: I believe that Danny Garcia will defeat Errol Spence by unanimous decision in a very hard, tough battle of wills.

Keith Thurman, Former Unified World Welterweight Champion

Spence W 12: Danny Garcia’s the biggest puncher I’ve faced in the ring in my entire professional career. Danny’s got great timing and a chip on his shoulder from losing two close fights to myself and Shawn Porter. So Errol Spence better not let him land one of those bricks.

But styles make fights, and my gut says Spence wins without a home-run being hit by Garcia. Spence has all of the skills and technique to come out with the ‘W’ against Garcia, whom I was able to hurt with a big punch in the first round.

Spence has that right hook, which he can land to the temple, and those pot-shots as well as a long and stiff jab to go with a height and reach advantage that led to his complete shutout of Mikey Garcia.

But if Spence has that ‘Man-Down philosophy,’ and he’s not a fighter who plays with his food. When he gets you hurt, he gets you outta there. But it could come down to who lands the biggest punch first, and a lot of folks want to know how Spence is after that car accident.

Andre Berto, Three-Time World Welterweight Champion

Garcia KO 5: Errol Spence‘s confidence is going to be sky high after battling back from everything he’s gone through. But at the same time, it’s the accident that’s going to cost him in the ring against Danny Garcia.

Both guys are going to come out swinging and tire themselves out, but Danny’s going to bring it early and often to make Errol prove he’s fully recovered in a donnybrook. My man Garcia’s going to keep punching, and then, you know – Blammo! Garcia KO 5.

Yordenis Ugas, WBA World Welterweight Champion

Spence SD 12: I have Errol Spence winning by a split-decision over Danny Garcia. It will be an exciting fight where at times, either will box, and at times, either will bang, but there will be no knockdowns.

Mikey Garcia, Four-Division World Champion

Spence W 12: Danny Garcia will be competitive and have his moments, but Errol Spence will box more effectively and win by a decision.

Robert Guerrero, Three-Time World Champion

Garcia W 12: If Errol Spence boxes the way that he did with Mikey Garcia, he wins by decision over Danny Garcia. If Spence tries to bang it out with Garcia, then he might get knocked out. But I’m going with Danny Garcia to win by decision.

Jamal James, Interim WBA World Welterweight Champion

Spence W 12: I think Errol Spence will win a 12-round decision, but I’m not counting out Danny Garcia.

Julian Williams, Former Unified World Super Welterweight Champion

Garcia W 12: It’s basically a 50-50 fight, but I’m leaning toward Danny Garcia to defeat Errol Spence in a close fight. I’m pretty sure that Danny’s locked in and extremely motivated, feeling as if everyone is looking past him.

Ronnie Shields, Trainer of Undefeated WBC World Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo

Spence W 12: I think Errol Spence is going to win a close decision. Danny has a chance if he can start fast and make his presence known with that left hook.

But Garcia’s not much of a fast starter, and I think he’s going to run into some problems because Spence can out-box him if he chooses to.

Andre Rozier, Trainer of Former World Middleweight Champion Daniel Jacobs

Garcia SD 12: Danny Garcia’s family, but he’s also the underdog going into this fight with Errol Spence. Still, Danny’s hungry to build upon his legacy. Danny has the power to stop Errol, who has tremendous boxing skills, and it could happen in what I believe is going to be a tremendous battle of wills.  But I think this fight will go the distance, and in the end, Garcia will win this in a definitive fashion that will secure his trip to the Hall of Fame.

Regis Prograis, Former WBA World Super Lightweight Champion

Spence UD 12: Errol Spence wins by unanimous decision over Danny Garcia.

David Benavidez, Two-Time WBC World Super Middleweight Champion

Spence SD 12: This is a crossroads fight for both of them. Errol Spence wants to demonstrate that he’s still the great champion that he was before the car accident, and this may be one of Danny Garcia’s greatest opportunities to show he still is a great champion.

It’s going to come down to who can dictate the pace and the pressure. I think Errol‘s pressure could be too much for Garcia, but Spence had problems with the pressure Shawn Porter applied as well. If Spence invests in the body against Danny Garcia, his body shots can slow Garcia down and give Spence the edge. On the other hand, Garcia has that eraser of a left hook. But I’m giving Spence the edge and a decision.

Jose Benavidez Sr., Father and Trainer of David Benavidez

Garcia SD 12: I’ve got Danny Garcia winning because of his experience taking a split-decision, but it’s a 50-50 fight because Errol Spence is younger, has a lot of hunger and weighs a little bit more.

Kevin Cunningham, Trainer of Super Welterweight Contender Erickson Lubin

Spence UD 12: I have Errol Spence winning by unanimous decision over Danny Garcia, but at the same time, I’m like everybody else: I’m waiting to see how Errol Spence‘s health is after his experiences with the effects of that car accident.

Steve Cunningham, Two-Time World Cruiserweight Champion

Garcia SD 12: I see Danny Garcia winning a close, split-decision over Errol Spence. Garcia’s the underdog again, but how many times have we seen this? Garcia was supposed to lose to Erik Morales, Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan and so many others, but he beat them all. Spence is talented, but I see Garcia fighting with that Philadelphia pride and bringing another world championship home.

Nonito Donaire, Four-Division World Champion

Spence W 12: A lot depends on whether Errol Spence is 100 percent after his car accident. But either way, I anticipate him using his height, reach and ability to fight from a distance. Spence will counter Danny Garcia’s power and mid-range fight abilities on the way to winning a close decision.

Abner Mares, Three-Division World Champion

Spence TKO 8: If Errol Spence had not been in that car accident, I would have picked him to defeat Danny Garcia, hands down. But now it’s a 50-50 fight because we don’t know how he’s going to come back from the injuries, physically and mentally.

But it seems like Errol‘s 100 percent ready to take on the big task of Danny Garcia for the simple fact that his boxing abilities are far superior. I think it’s going to be a stoppage. With his skills, Errol Spence knows how to pick you apart round by round.

Danny Garcia’s vulnerable because he’s a guy that’s a big puncher who is always in a fight during any given round, but he opens up a lot. I see Errol Spence out-boxing and breaking him down for a TKO say, by the eighth round.

Vito Mielnicki Jr., Undefeated Welterweight Prospect

Garcia SD 12: This is going to be a tremendous, 50-50 fight that can go either way, with Errol Spence being an excellent boxer with power. Danny Garcia has that one-punch power, so it’s a fight where anything can happen. It’s really tough to make a choice, but I think Danny will be the winner of a hard-fought split-decision.

Gary Russell, Jr., WBC World Featherweight Champion 

Spence W 12: I think Errol Spence may get him, but he can’t mess around. Danny Garcia’s only got a puncher’s chance. Danny has been looking a little sharp and crisp. I edge it out to Errol, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

If Errol gets reckless, Danny could clip him.  I’m going with Errol. I think Errol is going to be more physical and will out-work Danny.  Danny is going to look for that one, nice shot. Errol is going to try to work him and rough him up.

Gary Russell, Sr., Trainer of Gary Russell Jr.

Garcia W 12: This fight will be Errol Spence‘s biggest fight. I like Danny Garcia in this fight, personally. Spence can’t go to the body and not get hit. If Danny gets close enough to hit Spence, he is going to fire. Danny has power in both hands. I wouldn’t be surprised if Danny upsets Spence.

Gary Antonio Russell, Undefeated Bantamweight Contender 

Spence W 12: Danny Garcia has the puncher’s power to stop Errol Spence, but I believe Spence is too much for Danny. Spence is too aggressive and has too much dog and tenacity for Danny. I’m just worried about which Errol will come to fight. Will the old Errol be able to perform to his old standard prior to his accident? I feel like Errol can win this fight.

Gary Antuanne Russell, Undefeated Super Lightweight Contender

Spence W 12:  Both Errol Spence and Danny Garcia are phenomenal fighters. Style makes fights. Errol Spence is more agile and more of a boxer-puncher. Danny is more of a poised, counter-puncher and seasoned boxer with more in-the-ring experience.

Danny has more of a puncher’s chance, having fought champions and ex-champions, beating most of them. Errol definitely has a puncher’s chance as well to go with a high IQ and the ability to lure Danny into a position where he can hurt Danny. Errol can knock Danny out with a hard punch or a slew of hard combinations, but Danny could catch Errol with a counter punch, so the fight could go either way. Still, I’m leaning toward Errol Spence, who he has more in his arsenal than Danny.

Chris Colbert, Undefeated Interim WBA World Super Featherweight Champion

Spence UD 12: I see Errol Spence winning by a unanimous decision over Danny Garcia because Garcia’s got a granite chin, and we’ve never seen Garcia buzzed, battered or hurt.

Stephen Fulton, Undefeated Super Bantamweight Contender

Garcia W 12: This places me in a very difficult position because this is a 50-50 fight, a really hard fight to pick, and Errol Spence is the hungry, younger fighter who has a lot of skills. But if I have to pick a winner, I’ll go with the underdog, Danny Garcia, because I believe a lot of people are underestimating him, and guys like that can tend to sneak up on you. That’s why I’m picking Danny Garcia to rise to the occasion and win a great fight.

Luis Collazo, Former World Welterweight Champion

Garcia KO 10: Errol Spence gets careless too much, and Danny Garcia’s got a puncher’s chance. I’m going with the underdog, Danny Garcia, by ninth or 10th-round knockout in a helluva fight.

Erislandy Lara, Two-Time World Super Welterweight Champion

Spence W 12: This is going to be a fun fight to watch because both Errol Spence and Danny García are true warriors. Spence is the naturally bigger man and has more tools in his box.  Garcia is tough, but I think Spence will be too much for him. Spence wins by decision.

Omar Figueroa Sr., Trainer of Omar Figueroa Jr. & Undefeated WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Brandon Figueroa

Garcia W 12: Danny Garcia is a smart, great fighter and I like the way that he thinks. I say Danny Garcia wins by decision over Errol Spence.

Erickson Lubin, Super Welterweight Contender

Spence D 12: If Errol Spence isn’t affected by the car accident, I have him winning a unanimous decision over Danny Garcia. We already know Danny’s going to come to fight and seems more focused than ever. Going off of what I only know right now, I’ll say they’re going to fight to a draw.

Omar Douglas Jr., Lightweight Contender

Garcia SD 12: I respect Errol Spence for coming back from that car accident and accepting such a tremendous challenge in Danny Garcia, but there are a lot of questions about which Spence will show up after his accident.

I think Spence should have taken a tune-up fight to see where he was before stepping up to this level. I’ve seen up close that Garcia’s one-punch knockout power is special, and I think that will be the difference in him winning a close, split-decision.

Sebastian Fundora, Undefeated Super Welterweight Contender

Spence TKO 10: Errol Spence is the best fighter in the whole division, and I believe he’ll come into the ring wanting to prove that in a great fight against Danny Garcia. I know Spence was involved in that terrible car accident after beating Shawn Porter, but I think that he can knock out Garcia.

Ivan Redkach, Welterweight Contender

Garcia SD 12: I like Danny Garcia to win a split-decision over Errol Spence as a result of his timing, punching power and experience. Errol Spence may look good in sparring and training since his car accident but sparring and training are not like being in a real fight, and that’s what he’s in against Garcia.

Joey Spencer, Undefeated Middleweight Prospect

Spence UD 12: Errol Spence and Danny Garcia are two champions with great chins and good defense, but I’m picking Errol by decision just because of his work-rate.

Danny will be in the fight, will counter effectively and avoid taking too much damage because of his solid defense, but again, he won’t sustain the work-rate with Spence.

Richard Commey, Former IBF World Lightweight Champion

Garcia SD 12: Errol Spence is still a great fighter, regardless of what happened with the car accident. But I believe the night will belong to Danny Garcia. I expect Garcia to start fast, pressuring early and using his patience and power to control the fight on the way to winning a decision.

Eimantas Stanionis, Undefeated Welterweight Contender

Spence W 12: This is a very difficult fight for Errol Spence because of his very long layoff and the car accident, so nobody knows how he will feel. But if Spence is the same fighter, I see him winning. Danny Garcia always has that left hook, and he can always hurt you with either his left or right hand. But Spence has good defense, so he may be able to account for that. With all things being considered, I think it will be Errol Spence winning by a decision.

Jonathan Walley, Co-Trainer of Welterweight Contender Sergey Lipinets

Garcia TKO 8: It’s a 50-50 fight, and I think Errol Spence tries to box before eventually engaging with Danny Garcia. But that’s to the advantage of Garcia, who counter-punches well and I think he’ll catch Spence at some point and knock him out.

Final Count:

Spence20

Garcia: 16

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Leonard, Pacquiao, Thurman, Holyfield, others predict Wilder-Fury 2

As fight night nears, boxing legends, world champions, celebrities and more shared their predictions for the highly anticipated rematch between unbeaten WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and undefeated lineal champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury ahead of the historic, mega PPV event this Saturday, February 22 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The heavyweight championship rematch has garnered debate ever since the controversial end of their first fight in December 2018, and remains a 50-50 fight just days before they square off again. Here are predictions from throughout the boxing world and beyond for Saturday’s main event, with the respondents leaning towards Wilder to retain his title over Fury, by an 18 to 14 margin:

Sugar Ray Leonard, Hall of Famer

Wilder W 12: “I like Deontay Wilder to win, possibly by knockout, but, in truth, I don’t see either guy being knocked out. I think that Wilder not only has that powerful right hand, but that he has improved in his ability to set it up.

“On the other hand, I know that Tyson Fury has excellent boxing abilities and a tremendous chin from the way that he got up from the two knockdowns in their previous fight. In the end, I think that Wilder is always in shape and that he will use his speed and power to get the job done.”

Jamel Herring, WBO junior lightweight world champion

Fury by Majority Decision: “If Fury can box the same way he boxed in the first fight, without any scares, he can pull it off. On the flip side, it’s hard to pick against Wilder, as he always looks more impressive in rematches.”

Manny Pacquiao, WBA Welterweight World Champion

Wilder KO 10: “Never bet against a puncher, particularly one like Deontay Wilder. I look at Wilder like I do at a Mike Tyson, another puncher. I see Wilder winning this rematch with Tyson Fury by 10th-round knockout.”

Carl Frampton, former two-weight world champion

Fury W 12: “I think it’s a very difficult fight to call. Fury won the last one by a mile, but I think Wilder will be more aggressive this time, which may play into Fury’s hands. Wilder can win by KO at any moment, but put a gun to my head, and I’d say Fury on points.”

Thomas Hearns, Hall of Famer

Wilder W 12: “Deontay Wilder can box and win, but I think that his power will be the difference in defeating Tyson Fury. I believe that it will go to a decision again, but with Deontay Wilder winning it.”

Mikaela Mayer, undefeated super featherweight/2016 U.S. Olympian
Fury by decision: “I Fury is the better boxer and smart enough to make the adjustments needed from the last fight. If he can avoid a bomb from the ‘The Bronze Bomber,’ I think he will win on the scorecards.”

Evander Holyfield, Hall of Famer

Wilder W 12: “I’m picking Deontay Wilder based on his confidence and the fact that he does all of the right things to remain in great shape, and that he’s committed to his craft.

“Wilder’s not just a big guy with a right hand, but he’s also become more calculated in his approach. That’s why I’m picking him to win this second fight against Tyson Fury.”

Michael Conlan, WBO No. 1 Featherweight Contender

Fury by decision: “He needs to be even more careful this time, but he looks like he’s put in some serious work and is ready finish what he started last time.”

Shawn Porter, former two-time world welterweight champion

Wilder KO: “I have not had this hard of a time picking a winner of a fight after dissecting every component in a very long time. I honestly believe that this fight right here will seal both of their legacies.

“This is a 50-50 fight for several reasons. Deontay Wilder will be much more patient and freer from the anxiety he had trying to put on a big show in the first fight. Tyson Fury is now two years from depression, two fights from the retirement he came out of to fight Wilder.

“Fury has changed trainers in order to take the fight to Wilder and win by KO. Fury still has his speed and quickness, while Wilder is still powerful and more confident. It’s going to be a great fight.

“It’s razor thin until the end. I’m picking Wilder to win by KO, Fury by points, or Fury by KO. This is a 50-50 fight. I said on ‘Inside PBC Boxing’ a couple of weeks ago that Wilder wins by KO, but I’m picking the fans to win.”

Xander Zayas, 17-year-old welterweight prospect
Fury by decision: “He will outbox Wilder and make the necessary adjustments. It will essentially be a repeat of the first fight, only more convincing.”

Larry Holmes, Hall of Famer

Wilder KO 7-8: “Deontay Wilder will knock out Tyson Fury in the seventh or eighth round if he does what I know that he can do, which is stay on the outside, use his jab, throw that right hand over the jab.”

Colin Cloud, LIMITLESS at The Mirage 

Wilder KO: “I predict Wilder will win by a knock-out in the first three rounds. I further predict Tyson will get ‘in the zone’ listening to some classic Jay-Z, whereas Wilder will be listening to Taylor Swift’s ‘Lover’ album, because ultimately he is both a lover and a fighter.”

Adam Kownacki, undefeated heavyweight contender

Wilder KO 7: “I’m going with Deontay Wilder, and I think it’s going to be a knockout in round seven. I think it will be a rematch similar to the one with Luis Ortiz, whom he stopped in the 10th round the first time and in the seventh round the second time.

“Wilder will be patient, wait for his opening, and then, he will deliver. I think Wilder lands the big right hand and that, this time, Fury doesn’t get up.”

Robert Garcia, trainer of Mikey Garcia

Fury W 12: “I see Tyson Fury winning by a decision over Deontay Wilder. Unlike the first time, where he was knocked down twice, I believe that Fury will be fight more cautiously and that he’ll win a decision.”

Keith Thurman, former unified welterweight world champion

Wilder KO: “I’m going with Deontay Wilder, who is one of the most dangerous punchers in boxing history. There’s something about the first time that you step into the ring with an opponent, the entire, ‘I’ve never seen you; you’ve never seen me before.’

“But the fact is, Wilder now knows the movement, the speed and the tactics that Tyson Fury has, but, of course, Fury has the ability to dance, move around and change it up. But as long as Wilder can keep up with and move with him, I believe that he will do what he does best.

“I believe that Wilder can end the fight at any moment, aiming that right hand straight down the pipe, which he just about did in the last fight. It’s a tremendous event, I missed the first one, but I’ll be present at this next one and another great heavyweight rivalry. Team BombZquad.”

Matt Goss, 1OAK Las Vegas at The Mirage 

Fury W “So proud of Tyson and his mindset and all of the battles he has won in and outside of the ring. Massively respect you Tyson, from one Brit to another, go and do what you do best, TCB.”

Mikey Garcia, former four-division world champion

Wilder KO 8: “I’ve got Deontay Wilder knocking out Tyson Fury in the eighth round. Wilder will be much more aggressive than he was in their first fight. Wilder will catch Fury with a big shot in the eighth round.”

Michelin Star Chef Akira Back, Chef for Yellowtail at Bellagio and Kumi at Mandalay Bay 

Wilder KO 9: “Wilder in a 9th round KO.  And after he knocks out Fury, I hope he will have time to stop by Yellowtail to celebrate and have a shot with me.”

Ruben Guerrero, trainer of Robert Guerrero

Fury W 12: “Tyson Fury is much more focused going into this fight. He’s not partying like he was, and he didn’t go into camp out of shape. He’s gotten God-centered in his life now, so I’m picking Fury to win by decision over Deontay Wider.”

Jermall Charlo, Undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion

Wilder KO 10: “Deontay Wilder by knockout in the 10th over Tyson Fury. Deontay has to establish the jab early to get close, then crank right hands repeatedly.”

Marcus Deegan, MC, Thunder from Down Under at Excalibur

Fury KO 2: “After Tyson Fury got up like a zombie from the dead after that devastating knock down in their first fight, it shows his heart is beyond those of a normal human. This time around, I believe Tyson Fury will be victorious via knockout in the second round.”

Chris Colbert, interim WBA Super Featherweight Champion

Wilder KO 8: “I feel like Tyson Fury is less confident for this fight, and I think that Deontay Wilder is going to win by knockout. I would like to see Fury put up a helluva fight, but I don’t think that will happen this time.

Wilder has more hunger to come back and to do better in his rematches, like he did against Bermane Stiverne and Luis Ortiz. I don’t think Fury goes any further than eight rounds this time.”

Paulie Malignaggi, former two-division world champion

Fury W 12: “I feel like it’s going to be Tyson Fury on points, but it’s a fight between the two best fighters in the weight class.

“The onus is Deontay Wilder to make the adjustments, whereas if Fury fights the same fight, odds are, he’s probably going to get the decision.

“I do think that Fury has to be careful with getting careless in spots, but Wilder can’t just fight believing that he can land one shot and get him out of there.

“Fury is a great boxer who can probably be better at avoiding the shot the second time around because he knows what he’s dealing with.”

David Benavidez, undefeated WBC Super Middleweight World Champion

Wilder KO 11: “I think Deontay Wilder knocks out Tyson Fury in the 11th round, but I think it’s gonna be a close fight until that happens. Still, I think Wilder wins the fight.

“I think Tyson Fury will have a lot of success early, but that ultimately Wilder will catch him with that big right hand and knock him out.”

Andy Lee, former middleweight world champion

Fury KO 2: “Tyson Fury can win this fight with Deontay Wilder in any way that he wants, whether by stoppage or knockout or accumulation of punishment on points.

“But the way that Fury’s looking in training, I will say that he wins by stoppage or knockout, and I’ll say he wins in round number two.

“I’m a former Kronk Gym fighter, and he’s being trained by [Emanuel Steward’s nephew Javon] SugarHill Steward, and you know what all of us Kronk Gym fighters want – knockouts.”

Anthony Dirrell, former two-time super middleweight champion

Wilder KO 8: “I am picking Deontay Wilder to win the rematch with Tyson Fury, and I think that it will happen in Round eight or nine.

“I just believe that Wilder will be better than he was in the last fight, and you can just look at his record in rematches against Bermane Stiverne and Luis Ortiz.”

Terry Fator, Terry Fator: The VOICE of Entertainment at The Mirage 

Fury KO 4: “I am a huge fight fan…it’s why I never miss a presidential debate. My prediction–Fury in 4 when Wilder hits the floor.”

Charles Martin, former world heavyweight champion

Wilder KO 8: “Deontay Wilder’s gonna win by knockout. I believe that Tyson Fury will be out-boxing Wilder for most of the rounds, but then, he will get stopped by that powerful right hand in the eighth.”

John Ryder, former WBA interim super middleweight champion 

Fury KO: “I believe this fight will be a lot more explosive then the first. I believe Deontay Wilder will feel Tyson Fury can’t hurt him and will go for the KO very early and fade later in the fight. Tyson will get him out of there anywhere after the eighth round.”

 Luis Ortiz, heavyweight contender

Wilder W 12: “Deontay Wilder will win a decision over Tyson Fury, who will be coming in respecting Wilder’s power and being wary of taking a shot based on all of the evidence of Wilder’s previous fights with me, and from their first fight.

“Looking at what Wilder was able to do with me during the championship rounds of our first fight and also much sooner than that in our second fight, he’s going to be worrying about taking a similar shot, otherwise, there’s a locomotive coming.”

Bermane Stiverne, former world heavyweight champion

Wilder KO: “I think Deontay Wilder will knock out Tyson Fury, it’s just a matter of when he lands the right hand or the left hook and finishes him off.

“Wilder’s power saved him in the last round against Fury the first time, but I think that now that Fury has tasted Wilder’s power, I think that has to be in the back of his mind.

“Whether it’s the first or the last round, just like Fury was doing well in the first fight, I think it’s going to be a knockout for Wilder.”

Michael Clift, “Barry Gibb”, The Australian Bee Gees Show at Excalibur Hotel & Casino 

Fury W: “Wilder will come after Fury and try for a big knockout punch, that’s his best hope. Fury will bide his time and use his reach and awkward style to wear Wilder down and strike when he sees him tiring. I’d like to see Wilder win but I think Fury will be too strong. Fury to win!”

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