A month before his Manny Pacquiao's scheduled bout with Keith Thurman in Las Vegas, veteran boxing promoter Bob Arum expressed his fears over the risk of the former suffering from brain damage. The Filipino boxing icon simply dismissed Arum's fear citing that God is always on his side every time he steps into the ring.
Arum's fears are justified by the fact that, just two weeks ago, 41-years-old Zab Judah sustained a serious brain injury following a knockout loss against Cletus Seldin. Pacquiao himself is turning 41 in December, and he is facing yet another formidable opponent in the form of Thurman who holds an unblemished record of 29 wins and is 10 years younger than the Filipino.
Arum's Top Rank promotion company used to handle some of Pacquiao's biggest fights. However, the ring icon decided to part ways with Top Rank in 2017 and decided to sign with Premier Boxing Champions in 2018.
Regarding his concern over Pacquiao, Arum told reporters, "I have a whole history with Manny Pacquiao. I'm really rooting for Manny Pacquiao, but you've gotta realize that he's years of age, and when a fighter has been around so long passes his late 30s and goes into his 40s, he's not gonna be as good as he was in his prime."
Arum then proceeded to discuss some health issues that comes with old age, and the risk of getting into the ring. He said that while a young boxer's skull gas the ability to absorb powerful blows, the same ma cannot be said once they start to age.
This is a legitimate concern from Arum. Boxing has a storied history of fighters going into a coma after a heavy blow to the head. Statistically speaking, a lot of retired boxers also suffer from serious nervous system disorders as a direct result of injuries and blows sustained during their boxing career.
Speaking with a local paper on Monday, Pacquiao responded to Arum's unease saying, "God is always there to protect me and there's nothing to worry about."
Pacquiao will be facing the undefeated Thurman on July 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will be fighting for the WBC welterweight title.
Pacquiao has a professional record of 67 wins, seven losses, and two draws. On the other hand, Thurman has a professional record of 29 wins and one draw. At the time of the fight, Pacquiao will be 40 years old, while Thurman will be 30.