It always happens doesn’t it? The changing of the guard. The passing of the torch.
Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) has a chance to make history. On Saturday July 20, 2019, Thurman will have the biggest fight of his life when he takes on eight-division champion, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs).
On paper, this matchup seems as though it could go either way. Pacquiao holds the edge in terms of experience and quality of opposition. Thurman on the other hand comes in as the young, undefeated champion. One who has already made his mark in the sport of boxing.
Thurman, who is known for outpointing both Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia, is looking to build off of his most recent victory against Josesito Lopez.
It was a performance in which Thurman did not look very sharp. Coming back from a 22-month layoff due to various injuries, the undefeated WBA Welterweight champion took a hit in the standings as it relates to his contemporaries. Thurman hears the chatter and welcomes the doubters.
“Lets be clear. I didn’t have the best performance against Josesito Lopez,” said Thurman during his New York City press tour stop. “But what people have to remember is that I was coming off of a long lay off, and credit to Lopez, he really came to fight that night. At the end of the day I got the job done. I got the rust off and I’m looking to be the best Keith Thurman come July 22nd.”
These words by Thurman ring true. Be that as its may, taking one tune-up fight and immediately jumping into a contest against Pacquiao is a monumental leap. Thurman, for what its worth, is slightly favored coming into this contest.
Many fighters would lead you to believe that they don’t pay attention to the odds makers. Pacquiao on the other hand not only sees the odds, but he is also using it as motivation.
“I use it as motivation,” said Pacquiao. “Sometimes it can be difficult to stay motivated when you know you are supposed to win, but this is a different feeling. I want to prove to everyone that my time in boxing is not done yet.”
This contest has a bit of an ironic feel to it. Over 10 years ago a much younger Manny Pacquiao not only defeated, but he essentially retired hall of fame fighter, Oscar De La Hoya. Thurman will now try to play the part that Pacquiao once did.
“I’m going to do to him what he did to Oscar De La Hoya,” said Thurman. “Make sure you tune in on July 20th. I’m going to retire Manny Pacquiao.”