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Pacquiao: I'm Not Basing Thurman's Ability On His Last Performance

By Jake Donovan

There is a growing belief among boxing insiders that Keith Thurman was chosen as Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent only after looking vulnerable in his most recent performance.

In fact, Thurman is among those very believers as he has wondered aloud whether his struggling at time in a win over Josesito Lopez this past January was enough to land the July 20 date versus Pacquiao.

Whatever the reason, the two are set for their welterweight title consolidation clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. Their bout tops a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event which has been hailed as the best card of the year, on paper.

thurman-lopez-fight (28)

It is for that reason, according to the former eight-division tltlist, that he selected the unbeaten welterweight 10 years his junior.

“I didn’t select him as an opponent just because of his performance in that fight,” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39KOs) insisted during a recent media conference call. “He was off for two years. This fight I’m sure, he will be in 100% physical condition.”

Pacquiao and Thurman (29-0, 22KOs) fought on back-to-back weekends in January, the timing along with their holding separate versions of the World Boxing Association (WBA) title having far more to do with the pairing than suggested cherry picking. Pacquiao made his debut under the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) for his first fight of 2019, scoring a landslide 12-round win over former four-division titlist Adrien Broner.

One week later, Thurman struggled at times but ultimately prevailed via majority decision over Lopez atop a Fox primetime telecast which remains the most watched boxing event of 2019 to date. 

Shortly after this particular pairing was finalized, Thurman opened up as a slight favorite amongst oddsmakers. It was tempting enough to attract bettors to invest in the 40-year old Pacquiao, of the belief that he’s facing an “old” Thurman rather than the Thurman of old.

Public perception aside, the former eight-division titlist isn’t buying into any of that talk.

“I’m not basing (his ability) on his last performance,” insists Pacquiao, speaking from personal experience given his own ups and downs over the past decade. “He was laid off for almost two years. As a boxer I can understand how difficult it is to start again.

“We know he’s working really hard for this fight. He’s not training for Josesito Lopez this time, he’s training for Manny Pacquiao. Likewise, I am training for the best (version) of Keith Thurman.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Truth Serum on 07-14-2019

[QUOTE=Roadblock;19899718]Manny did nothing thats why he lost, thats reality 101.[/QUOTE] What did Floyd do to win? How do people get distracted from (see Boxing 101)?

Comment by Roadblock on 07-14-2019

[QUOTE=Truth Serum;19899681]Boxing 101 - Clean and effective landed punches trump any scoring criteria... ...and the camera doesn't lie. Not every fan has an eye for boxing so they use the, "there's other criteria involved to score fights", to side with…

Comment by Truth Serum on 07-14-2019

[QUOTE=Roadblock;19896904]You fail at the first step, you gotta understand the sport to score it, fans like yourself only see 1/2 the fight, their guy, and the first response to defeat is excuses, all you gotta do is deliver and Manny…

Comment by A.K on 07-13-2019

No run time will be sprinting like a gazelle out there this time his run game is on a different level now.

Comment by Roadblock on 07-13-2019

[QUOTE=Truth Serum;19896839]Sheeple like you that have to agree with 3 judges to be convinced who won a fight make people like me, who judge fights on their own and believe with our own eyes, make comments like this. Smart mofos…

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