Manny Pacquiao To KO Keith Thurman, Then Fight Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Keith Thurman on Saturday, July 20, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Heading into the bout, many suggested that Thurman should be a clear favorite over his Filipino counterpart due to his age and physicality. The odds had Thurman as a favorite from the very beginning. That all began to change when people took a slightly closer look at the two men involved.
Pacquiao, 40, has looked as good in the past year and a half as he has at any point in the last five years. In preparation for his upcoming showdown against Thurman, he has been practicing with training partner Arnold Gonzalez.
When Gonzalez was asked how Pacquiao is looking in the lead-up to the fight, he kept his response short and clear.
“Thurman’s in trouble,” he said.
Gonzalez believes a knockout victory for Pacquiao could be in the cards, and he is not the only one.
It is easy to forget now, but many wrote Pacquiao off after his controversial defeat at the hands of Joe Horn two years ago. Despite the fact that Horn did not really do much to earn that victory, many believed that Pacquiao’s emotionless performance meant that retirement was on the horizon.
They were wrong.
Pacquiao responded in a big way after that loss by agreeing to take on a very game Lucas Matthysse. Although many believed Matthysse would defeat Pacquiao and thus end the Filipino champion’s career for good, the exact opposite happened.
Over the course of seven rounds, Pacquiao systematically dismantled Matthysse to the tune of three knockdowns – once in the third round, once in the fifth round and once in the seventh round. Finally, after giving Matthysse a proper thrashing for the better part of seven rounds, Pacquiao earned his first knockout victory in nearly a decade.
The judges scored it 59-53 in Pacquiao’s favor before the knockout.
Against Matthysse, Pacquiao’s numbers were comparatively excellent. He connected on 28 percent of his shots (95 out of 344) and on 44 percent of his power shots. Matthysse, conversely, landed only 23 percent (57 total) of his punches for the entire fight. The only round in which Matthysse was able to land double figure shots was in the sixth round, and he did not leave with much to show for it.
After making quick work of Matthysse, Pacquiao agreed to fight Adrien Broner. Again, people thought age would be an issue. They expected the younger and more physically imposing Broner to simply walk through his Filipino counterpart – alas that did not happen.
Pacquiao defeated Broner via unanimous decision. The judges scored it 117-111, 116-112 and 116-112. It was not as thorough of a dismantling as the one in his prior fight, but Pacquiao was nevertheless very impressive.
The Filipino star connected on 82 out of his 197 power punches thrown against Broner – 42 percent. He also landed 112 out of 568 total punches – 20 percent.
On the flip side, Broner landed a mere 50 out of 295 punches – only 17 percent. That was the lowest total of Broner’s illustrious, albeit underwhelming, career. Before the Pacquiao fight, Broner’s worst showing was when he landed only 90 punches against Jessie Vargas.
Pacquiao has been on a run over the past year and that is unlikely to change this coming Saturday. Although Thurman obviously boasts some small strength advantage, he lacks the skill and experience that Pacquiao brings to every single bout. Moreover, if we are being honest, Thurman has a history of showcasing less and less power whenever he steps up in competition.
Anything can happen in boxing, so obviously Thurman might emerge victorious, but all of the momentum currently feels like it is on Pacquiao’s side.
And as Game 7 previously reported, don’t be surprised if immediately after his victory he calls out Floyd Mayweather Jr.