The upcoming Welterweight clash between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman could quite possibly be the greatest clash the division has seen.
Boxing fans the world over will feel the bubbling excitement in their stomachs as the bout draws nearer but at this stage, it is just too close to call, with both fighters on paper currently unable to illustrate any potential advantage.
Thurman, for instance, has had his troubles outside of the ring and has battled a series of injuries that have stopped him finding any momentum, which has led to a period of inactivity of two years that was only broken in January 2019 when he beat Josesito Lopez by majority decision after 12 rounds.
The 30-year-old was able to retain his WBA Welterweight title but he looked lethargic and sluggish at times, which is, of course, understandable as he last fought 20 months prior, but you would think that would make Pacquaio overwhelming favorite – only it doesn’t, on closer inspection.
Thanks to my family, my team and all my fans who have stuck by my side these last two years—it hasn’t been easy, but your support has really pushed me to the other side. I promise BIG things lie ahead … #OneTime pic.twitter.com/hUXX11MjQz
— Keith Thurman Jr. (@keithfthurmanjr) February 1, 2019
The Filipino senator is only slightly fresher having fought last year as well as this, but his record reads a mere four fights in the last four years. In fact, Pacquaio doesn’t even have a complete record either over those four fights, having lost to Jeff Horn, albeit in slightly controversial circumstances, in Australia during 2017.
On this evidence, it doesn’t seem as though Thurman will be at a great disadvantage, given Pacquiao is also a bit shy of time in the ring. Naturally, when looking at the odds in Pacquiao vs. Thurman betting, bettors will see the Pac-Man as the favorite, but only just. And, when you consider how hard Thurman punches, it looks like the difference could be made up quite easily.
Like all boxers coming into a massive fight hoping to sell their pay-per-view package, Thurman has not held back with the verbals and has stressed that his opponent is not a technician or a true Welterweight. Now whilst boxing fans are used to trash talk in the build-up, there is something very captivating about Thurman.
Maybe it’s his articulation or the sheer size of his self-belief, but either way, you tend to listen more and leave convinced he is calling it right.
And then you get the reserved and humble Pacquiao, senator of his country and a man that has amassed a personal fortune of over $200 million through sheer heart and determination. Say what you want about his technique and possible lack of defence, there isn’t a fighter on the planet who thuds their opponent with the velocity Pacquiao does when he has the bit between his teeth.
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. – Bruce Lee pic.twitter.com/YCr4YKGDxp
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) June 28, 2019
There may be a 10-year difference between the two boxers but it is the 40-year-old that is the favorite, which just goes to show what a unique bout this will be.
In all likelihood, neither boxer will look to outfox over 12 rounds and in reality, punters can gear up for them both to come out swinging right from the start. The only clear winner at this moment in time will be the sport of boxing with a truly sensational clash on the horizon.