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Pacquiao on Thurman: Easy To Say Things, Not Easy To Do Them!

Twenty-four years after first climbing into a professional boxing ring, Manny Pacquiao will attempt to defy the march of time here Saturday when he battles undefeated Keith Thurman for the WBA welterweight crown.

The 40-year-old Filipino icon clashes with Thurman at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in what is arguably his most challenging assignment since losing to Floyd Mayweather in 2015's money-spinning "Fight of the Century".

Pacquiao, who has managed to successfully juggle a political career in the Philippines while continuing to box at a high level, looked sharp in his last outing in January, a unanimous decision against Adrien Broner.

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But the eight-division world champion is facing an altogether higher-calibre opponent in the shape of Thurman, renowned as one of the hardest punchers in the welterweight division with 22 knockouts in 30 fights.

Thurman, who at 30 years old is a full decade younger than Pacquiao, sees Saturday as an attempt to build his legacy, and has bluntly vowed to send the Filipino into retirement.

Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 knockouts) has shrugged off Thurman's blood-curdling pledges of destruction, insisting he harbours no animosity towards the brash American.

"For me nothing is personal," Pacquiao said. "Our job is to fight. He has to prove something, and I have to prove something. It's easy to say things. But it's not so easy to do it in the ring."

Pacquiao's preparations for the fight have followed a familiar routine.

After spending the first part of his training camp in the Philippines, he relocated to Los Angeles to work under the guidance of long-time trainer Freddie Roach at his Wild Card gym in Hollywood.

Roach maintains that Pacquiao has shown no sign of decline during gruelling sparring, and is confident that his speed and mobility will cause problems for the naturally bigger Thurman.

Roach, who expects Thurman to enter the ring at around 160 pounds once he has rehydrated after Friday's weigh-in, is bracing for an early onslaught.

"I feel he's going to try and come for Manny and try to prove that he's the bigger, stronger man," Roach told AFP. "He will come forward. He's a pretty good puncher but Manny's footwork should keep him out of trouble.

"I would love a collision because Manny will beat him to the punch every time. One guy is fast, one guy is slow. Thurman hits hard but he has no speed at all. I don't see him being able to get close to Manny because of his speed."

Yet Roach acknowledges that for all Pacquiao's impressive form in training, the acid test will come under the bright lights of the MGM Grand's Garden Arena on Saturday. Boxing history is littered with veterans who needed one fight too many to realise they are shot.

"This is true," Roach said. "Usually it doesn't show up in the gym. It only shows up in the fight. And I'm very aware of that. And if it does show in the fight I'll be the first one to stop the fight if need be."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by SinderellaMan on 07-19-2019

Oh Roach & Pac are overlooking Thurman's best asset: timing. Thurman & Danny Garcia has some of the best timing I've ever seen. Timing beats speed

Comment by Since1976 on 07-19-2019

[QUOTE=JakeTheBoxer;19911449]Wonder how much Pacquiao has left. His last 2 opponents are not a true welterweights. he struggled with Horn and got robbed. But Horn was a huge welterweight, now he fights at 160. On the other hand, Thurman looked pretty…

Comment by JakeTheBoxer on 07-19-2019

Wonder how much Pacquiao has left. His last 2 opponents are not a true welterweights. he struggled with Horn and got robbed. But Horn was a huge welterweight, now he fights at 160. On the other hand, Thurman looked pretty…

Comment by thesmokingman on 07-19-2019

[QUOTE=lion33lit;19911371]Pacquiao AND Roach will be surprised at how "slow" Thurman actually isnt! "Its easy to say things, but its not so easy to do them in the ring.".....it's also easy to see things in the ring, then miscalculate and underestimate…

Comment by JonDelPrado on 07-19-2019

Thurman kind of sounds like Algieri, claiming to be better technically than Pacquiao and then WHAM! dropped six times like rag doll. Thurman will find out too that you can't measure a fighter like Pacquiao based on Boxing technique

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