Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Roach: Thurman 'Terrible' In Last Fight; Will Run From Pacquiao


By Keith Idec

Every time Freddie Roach watches Keith Thurman’s last fight, he is less impressed with Pacquiao’s upcoming opponent.

It wasn’t just that Josesito Lopez almost upset Thurman when he hurt the heavily favored fighter in the seventh round. Pacquiao’s trainer considered it a poor performance overall for the unbeaten WBA “super” world welterweight champion and questioned whether Thurman ever can regain the form that enabled him to defeat Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter before injuries interrupted his career.

“I thought I was watching a four-round fighter,” Roach told following a Pacquiao training session this week at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club. “I mean, he was terrible. He didn’t do well at all. But if you look at each of his last three fights, he’s faded in each one. I’m not sure if it’s the biceps injury or whatever they’re crying about, but he hasn’t looked good in the three fights that I’ve seen and I do have his last seven fights on tape.”

Thurman came back from those troublesome moments in the seventh round to beat Lopez by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder January 26 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 30-year-old Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) obviously had to shed some rust in that bout because he hadn’t fought in more than 22 months due to elbow surgery and a subsequent hand injury.

Still, based on what Roach saw from Thurman versus Lopez (36-8, 19 KOs), he was surprised Thurman even agreed to fight Pacquiao next.

“I don’t think he’s the fighter he once was,” Roach said. “That’s why at the press conference I kept telling him we’re gonna kick his ass. Manny was being too nice. I just wanted to let him know, because he was giving it to Manny. Manny’s a nice kid and he lets that bounce off him, and sometimes I can’t.”

Though Thurman is 10 years younger than Pacquiao, Roach feels that Thurman is the one that needs to convince boxing fans that he still can compete at the elite level.

“He definitely has more to prove than Manny because he hasn’t looked good in a long time,” Roach said. “And he needs his fan base back. There was a time when he was knocking people out, like Manny Pacquiao was at one time, also. They both need to be impressive in this fight. You know, this is kind of one of those fights that they both need to win to keep going.”

manny-pacquiao (3)_69

By the time Thurman and Pacquiao square off in their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Thurman won’t have recorded a knockout in four years. The last opponent he stopped inside the distance was Luis Collazo, who couldn’t continue after seven rounds because he said he couldn’t see due to a cut over his right eye in July 2015 in Tampa, Florida.

The 40-year-old Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) has knocked out only one opponent in the 9½ years since he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round of their WBO welterweight title fight in November 2009. That victory – a seventh-round stoppage of Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse 11 months ago – and Pacquiao’s easy points win against Adrien Broner on January 19 have encouraged Roach regarding his chances against an opponent who was considered perhaps boxing’s best welterweight before his long layoff. 

“He beat [Broner] every round,” Roach said. “I really enjoyed that fight. I thought he fought very well. It was the most aggressive I’ve seen Manny in a long time. I like when Manny goes forward like that, and takes the fight to them. And I feel in this fight, we’ll have to do the same thing, because if you watch Thurman’s last three fights, once he gets hit and feels the power, he will move. I think he’ll have to use pressure in this fight because I think that Thurman will run once he feels Manny’s power and speed.”

As confident as Roach is about Pacquiao beating Thurman, he wasn’t Roach’s first choice when it came time to pick Pacquiao’s next opponent.

Roach had hoped Pacquiao would face Mikey Garcia because he felt Pacquiao-Garcia would’ve been a more entertaining fight based on their styles. He also figured Pacquiao would’ve made more money for fighting Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs), but Pacquiao-Garcia became a less marketable match once IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (25-0, 21 KOs) defeated Garcia so convincingly March 16 at the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

“His name was floating around, and then he got beat by Errol Spence,” Roach said. “We needed him to win that fight before we could make that fight. But this was what was offered and my job is to get him ready for whoever we’re in against. So, that’s what we’re doing.”

Pacquiao and Roach didn’t want to face a lesser opponent once the Filipino legend beat Broner (33-4-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC).

“We wanna be at a high level in boxing,” Roach said. “We’re not gonna travel around and fight the toughest guy in the local neighborhood. That’s not why we’re in the business. We’re in the business to be a champion.”

If Pacquiao can become the first fighter to defeat Thurman, he’ll become the WBA’s true welterweight champion.

Pacquiao won a version of the WBA’s 147-pound championship when he dropped Matthysse three times and stopped him last July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, Thurman owns the WBA’s “super” welterweight title and has been a WBA title-holder in his weight class since he knocked out Diego Chaves in the 10th round of their July 2013 fight in San Antonio.

None of that matters to Roach.

“We’re 10 years older in this fight,” Roach said, “but don’t count us out, because I don’t think we’re going anywhere.”

 Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by JERMELL_CHARLO_ on 07-02-2019

Damn right he will Freddie.

Comment by ptek on 07-02-2019

[QUOTE=greeneye99;19846384]Nope you're wrong Pac was never an easy fight guy Thurman has a belt Pac wants it..period[/QUOTE] No mate if you think that your green as baby

Comment by OCPancho on 06-25-2019

[QUOTE=Roadblock;19855895]Manny and Roach have way more say in opponents than you believe, Manny plays the dumb role allowing promoters to be the scapegoat when it comes to who he fights, which is what promoters are supposed to be the fall…

Comment by Roadblock on 06-24-2019

[QUOTE=OCPancho;19855876]Got news for you. Roach DOES NOT PICK Pac's opponents these days. HAYMON does.[/QUOTE] Manny and Roach have way more say in opponents than you believe, Manny plays the dumb role allowing promoters to be the scapegoat when it comes…

Comment by OCPancho on 06-24-2019

[QUOTE=skinnystev;19846473]why did roach want garcia instead of thurman because roach does not want a real welterweight broner was not a real welterweight[/QUOTE] Got news for you. Roach DOES NOT PICK Pac's opponents these days. HAYMON does.

Top Headlines
Lomachenko Undergoes Right Shoulder Surgery, Had Shot Before Lopez Fight To Alleviate Pain Leo Santa Cruz Grinds Hard For Gervonta Davis Clash Gassiev Focused on Heavyweight Debut, Will Keep Eye on Usyk-Chisora Chisora: Lomachenko Feeds Off The Crowd - Me And Usyk Do Too Lipinets: I'm Prepared To Make a Statement Against Clayton! Mark Heffron-Denzel Bentley Rematch on November 13, BT Sport Marshall vs. Rankin Title Fight Lands on Usyk-Chisora Undercard Lopez-Lomachenko Fight Peaked At 2,898,000 Viewers; Averaged 2,729,000 Million Patrice Volny vs. Patrick Wojcicki - IBF Middleweight Eliminator on Nov. 14 Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz Open To Staying At 130, Moving Up To 135 Eddie Hearn: Deontay Wilder Has Vanished From Earth; Maybe He Wants To Retire Teofimo Lopez: I'll Take Haney Fight Just To Shut Him Up, Destroy His Career Donaire, After Oubaali Fight, Wants 115 Title Shot & Would Love Chocolatito Fight Andreev vs. Abdullaev, Romanov vs. Liakhovich on Nov. 7 in Ekaterinburg Coldwell Pumped That Amy Timlin Landed Slot on Usyk-Chisora Bradley: Teofimo Lopez Beat The Top Guy at 135 - Time To Go To 140! Joshua is Eager To Hear Wilder Break Silence on Fury Trilogy Situation Luke Boyd Making Moves To Further His World Title Mission Loma-Lopez Mea Culpa: Making Sense of a Pick Gone Bad Bradley: Teofimo Lopez Kind of Reminds Me of a Young Roy Jones Michael Conlan Has No Issue Facing Isaac Dogboe on December 5 Teofimo Lopez Sr: Judge Who Had It 119-109 For My Son Had The Best Score Belmar Preciado vs. Rodolfo Hernandez Tops Telemundo Season Finale In Kissimmee Trainer: I Knew Lopez's Talent After Watching Him Spar Rigondeaux Danny Roman Wants Luis Nery as Next Opponent Cuadras Produces Follow-Up Negative COVID-Test; Rematch With Estrada Remains Intact Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Moises Calleros Now Set For Mexico City Card Murat Gassiev Gets New Opponent, Sefer Seferi Out With COVID-19 Edgar Berlanga's KO Streak Has Caught Attention of Mike Tyson Pedraza Shakes Head at Scores, Felt Lomachenko Beat Lopez Kambosos vs. Selby: Both Eager To Secure Lopez Mandatory Shot Ritson-Vazquez: Judge O'Connor To Appear Before British Boxing Board Sor Rungvisai: Whoever Wins Between Estrada And Cuadras, I WIsh To Meet In My Next Fight Bob Arum: Lopez Won The Fight - But Those Scores Were Ridiculous! Lopez: I Can Make 135 Again; I'll Be Fully Hydrated, Better, Faster, Stronger At 140 Moruti Mthalane Faces Jayson Mama on Dec. 20, First Hometown Fight's Championship Stats, Records Update: October 2020 Demsey McKean Wants Consideration To Face Tyson Fury in December Teofimo Lopez Shocked The World, But Not Himself or His Team Spence: I Want Pacquiao Next, But He's Earned Right To Pick McGregor
Latest Forum Threads