LAS VEGAS, USA – As Manny Pacquiao arrived at MGM Grand on Monday night, July 15 (Tuesday, July 16, Philippine time), the odds favoring him to beat Keith Thurman tilted some more.
Now, Pacquiao is a -155 favorite over the unbeaten champion in their showdown for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown. Thurman, the early pick when the pay-per-view bout was first announced, tumbled to underdog at +125.
Meaning a $155 wager on Pacquiao would net just $100 if the eight-division world champion wins. A $100 bet on Thurman, on the other hand, earns $125.
And, according to ring pundits, the gap will become even bigger in the run-up to the event set Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time) at MGM Grand here.
The turnaround is hardly surprising.
Though Pacquiao is now 40 years old, compared to Thurman’s 30, the 12-time world champion enjoys an immense following being considered a universal crossover star.
For another, social media have made the difference clear as to his training methods and work ethic compared to that of Thurman, who felt slighted that he’s become the B-side despite being an unbeaten champion after 29 bouts, 22 by knockout.
On record, this glitzy betting city loves Pacquiao.
Since he gained international acclaim with a stunning knockout of South African Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001 to capture the International Boxing Federation super bantamweight bet, Pacquiao has only assumed the underdog role twice in a total of 21 fights, 15 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Against Oscar De La Hoya, whom he sent to retirement in 2008, and against Floyd Mayweather, whom he lost to in 2015.
In January, Pacquiao made a triumphant return by dominating Adrien Broner.
According to Thurman, people may have been swayed by his trash talking of Pacquiao, who retorted that the more Thurman talks, the more he gets motivated to silence the loudmouth.
But Thurman insists he’ll knock out Pacquiao within 6 rounds, changing his earlier boast of one to two rounds.
Rather than pick an exact round, Pacquiao merely said the fight won’t be going the full route (12 rounds).
And to achieve this goal, Pacquiao worked his butt off. Starting with conditioning training in Manila and the final phase of preparations in Los Angeles.
At this stage, no amount of catch up move will suffice.
Pacquiao is clearly in superior condition and all he needs to do is stay that way when the bell rings.
If Thurman has lagged behind in training, Pacquiao will make him pay. – Rappler.com