By Chad Cooper
Undefeated Keith Thurman (29-0-0, 22 KOs) will put his 147-pound WBC welterweight title and flawless record on the line Saturday, July 20, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas against the 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) on PPV, which will set you back $74.99.
Thurman is 10 years younger, but Pac has been the busier fighter – this is his third world title fight in a year. Pac stopped Lucas Martn Matthysse in July of 2018 then returned in January to a dominating win via unanimous decision over a bum in Adrian Broner.
“One Time” Thurman on the other hand, has fought once since winning a split decision over Danny Garcia in 2017. Like Pac, he too fought in January but won in a lackluster way over Joseito Lopez.
If you like Thurman, who is a slim underdog at +100, the biggest question is – which Keith Thurman shows up? Dude started his career by dropping every opponent. He then beat a solid Shawn Porter and went on to unify two world titles in his decision win over Danny Garcia.
He said he isn’t a punk and the Lopez fight is exactly what he needed…Is he committed? This is his big name chance. He called out Floyd Mayweather years ago and the fight never surfaced. Pacquiao is his legacy fight.
Pacquiao is an ageless wonder. Regardless if you are fan of him or not, he is fun to watch, even at 40. He is a smaller welterweight, though Thurman is only a few inches taller and has a 2-inch reach advantage. Pac’s trainer Freddie Roach said the pressure is all on Thurman, and that is the truth. He does still have a lot to fight for…For God’s sake Bernard Hopkins won a world title when he was 45.
It is interesting that Pacquiao has already shown interest in another opponent (Amir Khan) before stepping in the ring with Thurman.
So what’s going to happen?
I’m hoping Thurman can land the heavier shots early and use the feint, draw Pac in and then 3-2…body, body, body, feint, 3-2. Would love to see a body shot patter from Thurman early.
Pacquiao needs to use his quick feet, hands and most importantly – quick head movement – to get inside Thurman’s guard between the hands and land his power left.
With all that said, 40 is 40…right? Pac will eventually slow down if and when Thurman lands big body shots.
With late money coming in on PacMan, odds have reached as high as -150 at some books. Pac has won 6 of his last 7 fights by way of decision. If you want to bet on Pac, might want to back Pac’s points/decision at +155. Pac by KO/TKO is +420.
It seems as if everyone is picking Pacquiao, which always leads me to the other side.
I’m not a Thurman fan, but I also like to make money.
I’m playing Thurman to win the fight via points/decision at +180. A Thurman stoppage also looks tempting at +600.
And with boxing judging, a draw (+1600) is never out of the question.
PPV starts at 9 p.m. CST and main event likely to hit the ring at 10:30 p.m.