‘Pacquiao vs Thurman’ prediction, preview and fight analysis
One of the living legends of boxing looks to prove he still deserves a place among the elite later TONIGHT (Sat., July 20, 2019) when eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao faces undefeated WBA Welterweight kingpin Keith Thurman inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE coverage of the main- and co-main events. The FOX pay-per-view (PPV) broadcast begins later this evening at 9 p.m. ET (watch it here), with Pacquiao and Thurman set to make their walks closer to midnight.
In the co-main event, Cuban Welterweight Yordenis Ugas attempts to rebound from a controversial loss to WBC champion Shawn Porter against unbeaten bruiser Omar Figueroa. One fight prior, Bantamweight knockout machine Luis Nery squares off with former champion Juan Carlos Payano, while all-action brawlers Sergey Lipinets and John Molina Jr. open the broadcast in violent fashion.
Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao
Record: 61-7-2, 39 KO
Last Five Fights: Adrien Broner (UD), Lucas Matthysse (TKO-7), Jeff Horn (UD Loss), Jessie Vargas (UD), Tim Bradley (UD)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Juan Manuel Marquez (2x), Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar de la Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera (2x), Erik Morales (2x), Lehlo Ledwaba
Keith “One Time” Thurman
Record: 29-0, 22 KO
Last Five Fights: Josesito Lopez (MD), Danny Garcia (SD), Shawn Porter (UD), Luis Collazo (RTD-7), Robert Guerrero (UD)
Significant Victories (other than those mentioned above): Leonard Bundu
Thurman was a genuine terror once upon a time, brutalizing all comers in frightening fashion during his rise through the ranks. There was an argument to be made that Marcos Maidana — who has never shied away from a brawl in his life — wanted no part of him. Then, sometime around 2014, the knockouts just stopped coming. Sure, he was still hurting people, but nobody was staying down; in fact, his only finish in the last five years came via headbutt-induced cut over veteran spoiler Luis Collazo.
The lack of finishes and a rash of inactivity (injury-induced or otherwise) have steadily dulled Thurman’s shine despite victories over two of the division’s best in Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. “One Time’s” January bout with overachieving bruiser Josesito Lopez — who fought Thurman to a majority decision despite being seen as a tune-up foe coming in — was just his third bout in the last four years.
If his power doesn’t work against strong opposition, then he’s just a quality boxer, and Pacquiao had already spent years beating quality boxers by the time Thurman made his first professional ring walk.
To be fair, Pacquiao is 40 years old, the markedly smaller man, and isn’t that far removed from a “loss” to mid-tier Aussie Jeff Horn. Thurman isn’t that sort of mauling pressure fighter, though, and lacks the potent counter-punching it traditionally takes to defuse Pacquiao’s furious offense. So long as the “Pac-Man” hasn’t seen a dramatic drop-off in speed since the Broner fight, he should be able to befuddle and out-work Thurman on his way to a close, but clear, victory.