The welterweight unification bout between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman on July 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada has somewhat become a one-man show. That's because Thurman is doing most of the talking. But on D-Day, the American fighter will fall silent, according to the fearless forecast offered by Freddie Roach.
Roach said hostilities would end on Round Nine via knockout delivered by Pacquiao, adding he is convinced the Pacman will dominate his foe.
"Everyone says this is going to be a tough fight for Manny Pacquiao. I don't think so at all ... Manny's legs are unbelievable. His work ethic is great. That movement that he has is still there. Manny Pacquiao hasn't slowed down a bit," Boxing News 24 reported the legendary trainer as saying.
Roach also offered that Thurman will do a Floyd Mayweather, meaning he will be running away from Pacquiao as a general strategy. This is so because Thurman lacks the confidence to tackle his opponent head-on, especially with the caliber that comes with the Manny Pacquiao brand.
Per the same report, the early rounds will prove crucial for Thurman as the Pacman is expected to make full use of his footwork. He will jump in and jump out while throwing multiple combinations. Thurman will counter this by moving around the ring, aim for an opening to connect some punches, and pile up the points to win the day.
The plan by Thurman is to emerge the victor and frustrate the Roach forecast. According to The Miami Herald, Thurman intends to flip the script on the eight division title-holder.
"I have no intention of losing to Manny Pacquiao. I don't see him winning any way, shape or form," the U.S. native was reported as saying.
Thurman is well-aware that he is clashing with a legend in Pacquiao, who was instrumental in ending the career of his previous ring nemesis. A good example is Oscar De La Hoya, who opted for retirement when vanquished by the Pacman. It will be the other way around, Thurman vowed.
"With all respect, he's a legend and he will always be remembered in the sport. But I'm doing to Manny Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar De La Hoya never fought again," the American boxer declared.
For his part, Pacquiao said he's far from getting intimated by the noises created by the Thurman camp, but he's one too underestimate his undefeated foe. The thought of giving Thurman the first taste of defeat is his chief motivation to work hard for a win added the Filipino fighter.
Pacquiao said he is not yet ready to leave the ring, adding "my journey will continue and that is what I want to prove on July 2."