It's Official! Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman
MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao is hoping that Keith Thurman’s fists are as good as the American’s loud mouth.
Thurman, the WBA “super” welterweight champion, has been running his mouth since yesterday in New York, when both fighters kicked off their two-city press tour for their July 20 clash (July 21 Manila time).
He had bragged about his plan to send Pacquiao — now 40 years and heading to his 71st professional fight — to retirement.
But Pacquiao isn’t bothered as usual
"It's easy for my opponents to talk before the fight, and I'm used to everything they say. But when we get to the ring, it changes, and it will change on July 20,” the Filipino icon said Thursday (Friday Manila time) in the second and last presser held at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.
Bookies have installed Thurman as an early favorite to win the title clash set at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and Pacquiao has always welcomed being the underdog.
Besides being unbeaten in 29 fights, the 30-year-old Thurman also enjoys the advantage in youth.
Pacquiao, again, is unperturbed.
"He said he's young, but we'll see who looks young in the ring on July 20. I'm going to let my fists say everything for me,” he added.
Pacquiao holds the “regular” version of the WBA’s 147-pound championship, which he won when he stopped Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last year.
He defended the same title against Adrien Broner in Las Vegas just last January.
Now, Pacquiao has a chance to unify with Thurman, who in his last fight looked vulnerable and beatable.
"I chose Keith Thurman because he's a great fighter, he's undefeated and because we can give a good fight to the fans. I want to make the fans happy on that night and show that I can still go toe-to-toe with any opponent,” Pacquiao continued, adding that Thurman’s tough talk is firing him up.
"We will work hard in training camp like always for this fight. We're not going to take Keith Thurman lightly or underestimate him. He's a world champion. I'm thankful for what he's been saying, because it's giving me motivation to prove that at 40-years-old, I feel 29,” said Pacquiao.
Again, the fighting senator hopes Thurman can walk the walk.
"Keith Thurman is aggressive and throws a lot of punches. I'm hoping on July 20 he will follow through with what he says and fight toe-to-toe with me,” he said.