LOS ANGELES, USA – Unlike most unbeaten fighters, Keith Thurman won’t mind losing that 0. Especially, if it’s to a legend like Manny Pacquiao.
Thurman, however, vowed Pacquiao will have to knock him out if the Filipino icon wishes to grab his World Boxing Association “super” welterweight title on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time).
A knockdown won’t suffice, promised Thurman during his conference call on Wednesday.
“If you want to fight me, fight me. If you want to hurt me, hurt me. If you drop me, you drop me, but you better stop me,” said Thurman.
“As long as you don’t stop me, I’m coming out a champion like I always do because that’s what I do; I box hard, I box smart and I’m always looking for the win. I’m always prepared to challenge myself.”
“I was brought up in this sport, I’m a real fighter, I’m a real boxer, I’m educated and Manny Pacquiao is going to get a piece of it one by one,” he added.
Knowing Pacquiao is always in prime condition for a fight, Thurman assures he’s going the extra mile this time.
“It’s hard to train twice a day and find time to stretch for an hour. I like to focus on my boxing, my strategy and my technique to win each and every fight,” said Thurman, who still needs to shed excess pounds based on his pronouncement in the same conference.
“I am focused on training hard, strength and conditioning, and losing weight,” said Thurman, who holds a 29-0 card with 22 knockouts.
According to Thurman, he’ll apply to Pacquiao the same formula he used against Danny Garcia, the former WBA undisputed welterweight champion and World Boxing Council titlist.
“I’m going to do to him (Pacquiao) what I did to Danny Garcia. I’m going to hit him as soon as I can hit him,” said Thurman, who bested Garcia by split decision in 2017 after holding a big lead then fending off Garcia’s attacks. That time, Thurman worked on Garcia’s body.
If that’s the case, it’s highly probable Thurman would keep Pacquiao at arm’s length once he finds out he can’t cope with the eight-division world champion’s speed and power.
Thurman knows he can’t afford to commit a mistake against the vastly experienced Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 knockouts).
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to destroy a legend and to create my own legacy,” said Thurman.
“If Manny Pacquiao is the man that beats me, he’s the man that beats me and I am going to shake his hand after the fight and congratulate him. But when Keith Thurman steps into the ring you’re dealing with Keith Thurman and he’s a bad man.”
In boxing, however, being bad doesn’t translate to being the best. – Rappler.com