WaTch Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman Live Boxing Stream
Online WBA Super World Welterweight Title Scheduled 12 RDS MGM Grand Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 9pm ET FOX PPV
Make no mistake about it, the July 20 Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is a good fight, a very good fight. Actually, it may be one of the best, most meaningful fights to be made among high-end welterweights in the top-heavy 147 lb. glamor division. Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman Live Boxing
It also may mark the unofficial end of the line for one of the two combatants.
Everybody knows the Manny Pacquiao story. The 24-year veteran was a first ballot Hall of Famer eleven years ago and has been building on to his legend since officially moving from the little warriors to the mid-sized battlers back in 2008 when he shocked the world with an upset win over a faded, but still heavily-favored Oscar De La Hoya.
Nothing bad that could happen to Pacquiao on July 20 will tarnish his legacy. However, he may be retired that night and retired in a most unpleasant way.
In boxing, at 40 years of age, even a legend is on borrowed time. And even though his last five fights over the last three years—with the exception of a controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn in July of 2017—have shown Manny capable of beating and dominating top ten-level welters (like Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Lucas Matthysse, and Adrien Broner), a Thurman fight may be problematic for many reasons.
Fast and athletic, Thurman has also leaned more towards being a boxer than a boxer-puncher in recent bouts. If he “boxes” Pacquiao in July, a seemingly re-energized Manny could finish the bout looking old, worn, and forlorn like he did back in 2015 when he re-stocked his bank account in the mega-fight against archrival Floyd Mayweather, but was decisively bested in the actual battle. Manny vs. a mover will always be a tough one for Manny and it won’t be any easier as he grows older.
Remember, too, that Thurman can punch with some pop and it’s not out of the question that Pacquiao, in hot pursuit, could be dropped.
A loss for Pacquiao against Thurman will most likely be the end for the Filipino icon. For the money he demands, there will be only three fights out there for him—against Errol Spence or Terence Crawford in torch-passing contests and a third bout with Floyd Mayweather for another hot cash injection. The first two would probably result in him getting pummeled for his payday and the third is always going to be up in the air, left entirely up to the whims of Mayweather.
On the other side of things, a loss for Thurman on July 20 could also mean pretty much the end of the line for him as well.
Even though he’s only 30 and has traveled many fewer roads than his HOF opponent, Thurman’s place among the elite in boxing right now is even more precarious than Pacquiao’s.
Before his nearly two-year injury-filled layoff, Thurman had shown signs that maybe he wasn’t the multi-tool thoroughbred fighter he was hyped to be as he rose through the ranks. Although victories over Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and a short list of fringe contenders earned him a spot at the top of the welterweight class, he had looked increasingly vulnerable with each step forward. He was being hit and hurt and, on a couple of occasions, looking like he was running for dear life rather than “boxing.”
In his ring return, he was stunned and nearly stopped by Josesito Lopez before holding on to win a majority decision. It was this bout, presumably, that piqued Pacquiao’s interest in Thurman—a big name with big vulnerability.
A loss to Manny could kill off all of Thurman’s already-waning professional momentum and inject some self-doubt into a career recently plagued with injury, inactivity, and other mini-setbacks. Another comeback or two could be in the cards for “One Time,” but a Pacquiao loss might take a big chunk of heart and soul from him and the next time he gets buzzed or stunned by a game challenger, he probably won’t have enough to pull through.
So, yeah, maybe July 20 is the end of the line for one of these two top welters. That’s just the nature of this cruel, cruel sport, though. Soon, someone will come along and retire the winner of Pacquiao-Thurman, too. And this is a good thing.Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion