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!”

Guerrero: ‘Manny Pacquiao is another big name that I can see myself fighting’

After winning three fights on his comeback trail, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (36-6-1, 20 KOs) is ready to step up in competition. The former multiple division world champion is looking to step in the ring with any of the big names at welterweight in the upcoming 2020 year.

“In 2020 I want to step up and fight any of the big names at welterweight,” said Guerrero. “I wouldn’t mind stepping in the ring with Mikey Garcia, who I think is one of the best fighters in boxing. I’ve always respected Mikey and I think that would be a good fight for the fans. Manny Pacquiao is another big name that I can see myself fighting. I also wouldn’t mind doing a rematch with Danny Garcia.”

In 2013, Guerrero fought Floyd Mayweather Jr., followed by some tough fights with Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia to name a few.  The Ghost always gives the fans their money’s worth and he’s looking to do the same in the upcoming year.

“Everyone knows I always come to fight, who ever it is,” Guerrero continued. “I feel the time off during my lay off did my body some justice as I needed the proper rest. I’ve won all my comeback fights and now its time to step up.  Given my track record, I feel I’ve earned the right to be in a big fight.  2020 is going to be a big year for me and I’m ready to take on all the big names.”

Porter: ‘I’m going to take care of him(Spence) September 28 and go after Manny Pacquiao’

The welterweight division is one of the best and deepest divisions in the sport of boxing. So many great fights can be made at 147, which we saw last month when Manny Pacquiao defeated Keith Thurman to capture the WBA welterweight title.

In September, we are going to see another great fight at 147 when IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence battles WBC 147-pound champion, Shawn Porter, in a unification fight, on September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The undefeated Spence(28-0, 21 KOs) has been angling for a unification fight for a long time, and now he has his chance to prove that he truly the best at 147.

“This is what I’ve been waiting for,” Spence said at a press conference to promote the fight in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “I had to be on the sidelines and watch Shawn fight Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, but now I’m in that group. I have the opportunity to fight these top guys and make my name known.”

If he wins, Spence wants the big money fight against Pacquiao.

“My whole thing is that I’m looking for the stoppage,” Spence said. “I want to make a statement that I’m clearing out the division. I want Manny Pacquiao and all of the top names in this division.”

At this point, there is no doubt that Spence is the favorite, but you can’t underestimate Porter(30-2-1, 17 KOs), who is a tough night for any fighter.

“People don’t understand the level that Errol and I are on. He’s expecting the same thing I’m expecting.,” Porter said. “We’re both training to go 12 hard rounds and outclass each other. It’s all about that one moment, and I know I have what it takes to make that moment all mine. I’m looking forward to it.

“It was only a matter of time until this fight happened. I’ve been patient my entire career and never rushed anything. For me, this fight is happening on time. He’s amongst the elite of this division now and will be after September 28 no matter what.”

Just like Spence, the goal for Porter is to fight Pacquiao, which he hopes to do after this fight.

“When I beat Errol Spence Jr., it doesn’t mean he’s going away,” Porter said. “He’s still elite. But I’m going to take care of him September 28 and go after Manny Pacquiao. That’s the plan.”

It is almost an unofficial tournament going on right now at 147. Pacquiao handled his business against Thurman, and now, we will see if Spence or Porter will advance to fight Pacquiao.

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

 

Leonard Ellerbe on Mayweather fighting Pacquiao: ‘Floyd ain’t thinking about none of this sh**'(VIDEO)

On Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao showed once again why he was one of the greatest fighters in this era when he defeated Keith Thurman by split-decision.  Pacquiao, 40, looked very fast and was impressive throughout the fight, which included a knockdown of Thurman in the first round.

Since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015, Pacquiao is 5-1 in his last six fights. The Filipino legend only defeat was a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn, a fight that many thought Pacquiao won.

So,  what’s next for Pacquiao? Is it the winner of Spence-Porter? Could it be Danny Garcia, or could it be Mayweather?

Well, Pacquiao and Mayweather sparred on social media on Tuesday.

Here is what transpired:

Mayweather started with a right hand:

View this post on Instagram

I find it real ironic how every time Pacquiao's name is brought up in the media, my name is always attached to it. This man's entire legacy and career has been built off its association with my name and it's about time you all stop using my brand for clout chasing and clickbait and let that man's name hold weight of its own. For years, all you heard was that " Floyd is afraid of Manny Pacquiao". But what's funny is, when we finally fought, I won so easily that everyone had to eat their words! All of the so called boxing experts, critics and jealous American "fan base" either went mute and ran for cover or made every excuse in the world as to why I should give Manny Pacquiao a rematch. My take on all this bullshit is that y’all are just upset that I broke Rocky Marciano's record and hate the fact that a Black, high school dropout outsmarted you all by beating all odds and retiring undefeated while maintaining all my faculties simply by making smart choices and even smarter investments. Ultimately, I will always have the last laugh!

A post shared by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on

Pacquiao responded with an overhand left:

Finally, Mayweather finished the conversation with a jab:

Who knows what is going through Mayweather’s mind, but if he wants to earn another massive payday, fighting Pacquiao would make a lot of sense. Mayweather last fought in 2017 against Conor McGregor, so he has not been very active, which could be an advantage for Pacquiao. However, I would never doubt Mayweather, even at age 42.

Pacquiao is expected to fight again in 2020, and Mayweather continues to insist that he is retired, so maybe this fight won’t happen after all. However, if Mayweather changes his mind, there is a large pot of gold waiting for him.

After Pacquiao’s thrilling victory over Thurman, we talked to Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, and according to Ellerbe, Mayweather is not worried about fighting again.

“Floyd ain’t thinking about none of this sh**,” Ellerbe told Paul Gant.

Listen below as Ellerbe talks Pacquiao-Thurman, Gervonta Davis, Mayweather, and more:

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

Listen below:

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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!