Manny Pacquiao Risks Legacy, Bucks Odds To Give Thurman First Boxing Career Loss
Manny Pacquiao has finally named his next opponent, that of which is Keith Thurman. "One Time" was the perennial favorite be the Pac-Man's next opponent over Danny Garcia, someone who has not tasted defeat in 30 fights. The only blemish in that record of the 30-year-old pug was the no-contest decision way back in 2009 against Francisco Garcia when both fighters accidentally butted heads.
For Pacquiao, Thurman is someone he cannot take lightly. Aside from his unbeaten record, he is hungry and younger. However, One Time will need to prepare religiously if he is to add Pacquiao to his list of triumphs. His last fight against Josesito Lopez in 2019 was hardly impressive and this should serve as a lesson for him to prepare better on July 20.
The Pacquiao vs. Thurman fight announcement was made Saturday on the Fox television broadcast by Premier Boxing Champions featuring Jarrett Hurd and Julian Williams, Tempo Sports said. The place where the fight will take place has yet to be known.
Previously, most pundits believed that Pacquiao would decide on his next opponent after May 13. The Philippines is currently holding its national elections and the eight-time division champ is busy with his political duties. Hence, the surprise announcement caught many by surprise.
Curiously, bookies have favored Thurman over Pacquiao as of this writing. According to Oddschecker.com, Pacquiao is +100 while Thurman is -145. Those numbers are expected to change in the coming months as fight night nears.
Pacquiao has shown that he still has the speed and power to keep in step with younger fighters. Against Thurman, it may take more than that - a challenge for the Filipino boxing icon. Another likely motivation for the Pac-Man is dealing Thurman his first boxing career loss.
Garcia did make a good account of himself when he won over Adrian Granados. But in a report from Boxing Scene, it looks like Pacquiao opted to face Thurman because he was impressed with the American boxer's performance against Garcia when they met in 2017.
“I liked the way he fought against Danny Garcia,” Pacquiao said to Yahoo Sports. “I thought his style would match up well with mine. We are going to give the fans a great fight and an exciting night.”
However, Thurman turned out rusty in fights after that - not to mention suffering injuries. In fact, he was even forced to vacate the WBC welterweight title. In a nutshell, Thurman's health and preparation will factor in against the 40-year-old Pac-Man in what promises to be a fight worth watching.