There are only five days left for Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman to enter the ring in a highly anticipated battle for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Welterweight Championship to be held this Saturday, July 20th, in Las Vegas Nevada.
On on side we “Pac-Man”, who is known the world over and is a veteran of many historical fights, and at 40 years old is again in the eye of the hurricane as he accepts a competitive battle with a man who is a decade younger than him. Despite being 4 decades old, which is quite the age in the fight game, the Filipino boxer has shown that he is still one of the best boxers in the world. Yes, he has 7 defeats in a sport in which a defeat seems to be a mortal wound. But his career has been excellent. He faced the great Erik “Terrible” Morales on two occasions, splitting the wins with the legendary Mexican boxer. Timothy Bradley beat him in a controversial decision just like Jeff Horn. Floyd Mayweather, in the fight billed as “The Fight of the Century” also made him fall to the cards in decision. We also cannot forget Juan Manuel Marquez who after three hard wars managed to collect revenge with a shocking knockout that was heard around the world.
There are still two lost fights the Filipino suppered to complete the 7. Both were at the beginning of his career. But his 61 victories, 39 knockouts, and 9 titles in 6 different weight divisions make him one of the most important fighters of the 21st century. His hand speed is still respectable, as is his agility in the ring. Once again we are seeing him train with the legendary Freddie Roach. Pacquiao returned to the ring after a layoff to show his boxing ability against Lucas Matthysse and although the fight wasn’t quite what some had expected Manny won the fight very impressively in 7 rounds and, then, last January he did the same, but via the cards and by a wide margin over Adrien Broner. He knows that a great battle against Keith Thurman will put him on everyone’s lips as talk of the town in the boxing world once again.
On the other side of the ring we have Keith “One Time” Thurman, the American 10 years younger than Pacquiao and with an impeccable resume of 29 wins with 22 knockouts. Although he does not have the fame of the Filipino, his resume has interesting rivals whom he has beaten, such as Robert Guerrero whom he defeated via the scorecards at the inception of Premier Boxing Champions in 2015. The Puerto Rican Luis Collazo, who gave him a tough fight despite having lasted only 7 rounds, is another solid victory. Shawn Porter, whom he dispatched by unanimous decision, and his most difficult test as far as names are concerned, Danny Garcia, a battle in which he was given the nod via split decision.
His career has been a little slow to gain steam at times, but he improved the quality of his rivals gradually and was admired for his good form in the ring as well as being an intelligent man outside of it. He he quick hands, although not as much as Pacquiao. Intelligence and precision are, likely, his greatest virtues. He has also known how to get the fights going with his mouth, as shown after a nearly two year layoff. He returned this January to the ring to fight Josesito Lopez, who he defeated by majority decision. Thurman wants to add another great rival to his resume – which would be the best one to date – and that is “Pacman”.
These conditions make this battle an attractive event for all sports fans the world over. A confrontation of hard prognosis, of those that the fans want to happen by their apparent parity. It remains to be seen if it is equally attractive when the bell rings.
The important thing, dear reader, is that this year we have experienced great battles, as surprises and attractive fights have littered the calendar. Let’s hope it continues like this. Let’s enjoy this fight week with Pacquiao vs. Thurman, the bell cannot sound soon enough!