Pacquiao: Thurman is a Challenge - But a Fight I Know I'll Win

Before a recent workout at the Wild Card Gym, Manny Pacquiao boldly predicted a knockout victory when he gets in the ring with unbeaten welterweight champion Keith Thurman on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

The Filipino great has never been a big boaster, and he has only knocked out one of his last 15 opponents over the past decade — a shocking statistic for those who still think of Pacquiao as the world-beating force in his rampaging prime.

He won't say whether he's audaciously calling this KO out of true belief or pure promotional chutzpah. But Pacquiao has been speaking his mind more than ever in the late days of a 25-year pro career with no end in sight, and he keeps it up even while facing a fight that could immediately end his recent resurgence.

"I like the fight because it's a challenge for me, but I know I'm going to win," Pacquiao said.

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Pacquiao insists he isn't thinking much about his political life while he trains in California, even if his stances already overshadow his abilities among a huge segment of the public. He speaks only about his fight with Thurman, the gifted welterweight determined to end Pacquiao's storied career.

"Just focus on discipline and work hard," Pacquiao said when asked the secret of his longevity in the ring. "Don't think about anything else but the training. Boxing is all about focusing and working hard. Nothing else. If you're thinking about anything except preparation and training and your workout, you'll forget about boxing. Boxing is about how you punish yourself."

Yet Pacquiao has bridged all sorts of apparent contradictions and overcome all manner of normally unsurpassable obstacles during a quarter-century in the professional ring.

A teenager who needed rocks in his pockets to make the 105-pound minimum weight for his professional debut in 1995 somehow grew up to become the only eight-division champion in boxing history. A 5-foot-6 slugger with an unremarkable frame tore through divisions stacked with larger champions, including Oscar De La Hoya, the bulky Miguel Cotto and even the 154-pound, 5-foot-11 Antonio Margarito.

The politician couldn't resist one last equivocation, followed by one more insight into his reasons for fighting on.

"Boxing is my passion," Pacquiao said. "I love to play basketball, but you are (on) a team. You don't know which people are shooting, you or your teammates. Boxing is you alone. When people are cheering for you, it is for you."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Ca$ual Fan on 07-19-2019

[QUOTE=lion33lit;19911720]"....a fight I know I'll win"...[/QUOTE] Ok dude. I will single out this quote so that that we understand perfectly well. Now let me ask you this - where is underestimating and where is disrespecting from this statement?

Comment by iloveboxing2 on 07-19-2019

I’m not sure how Keith will pull this one off, Manny looks meaner and better now than he was 10 years ago, in my opinion. PAC got knocked out cold by JM years ago and look where he is at…

Comment by bronx7 on 07-19-2019

Don’t be fooled by Thurms KO talk. Look at interviews he stresses lateral movement his boxing IQ once buzzed he will move all night box off back foot hope for counter bomb while pac lunges in.

Comment by DaBeastO on 07-19-2019

does pac ever truly trash talk an opponent? he's ok with putting his hands on his opponents in the ring and punishing them!

Comment by Bluebird on 07-19-2019

[QUOTE=lion33lit;19911720]"....a fight I know I'll win" is this any different from how Thurmans behaving? Theyre BOTH underestimating AND disrespecting each other....[/QUOTE] Pac never talked like this before, he’s usually very humble. It looks like he got his killer instinct back.…

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