New legends in the making ready to take over – Thurman

Roy Luarca
New legends in the making ready to take over – Thurman
'Pacquiao isn’t that dude anymore,' says unbeaten American Keith Thurman



LAS VEGAS, USA –  Keith Thurman envisions himself as the hope, if not the torchbearer of the younger crop of welterweights eager to displace their older counterparts.

And to lived up to that role, Thurman needs to trounce Manny Pacquiao in their showdown for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time) at MGM Grand Garden Arena here.

While impressed with Pacquiao’s accomplishments, especially his lopsided victory over Adrien Broner in January at the same venue, Thurman believes it’s time for the 40-year-old eight-division world champion to hang up his gloves and concentrate on being a Philippine senator.

“Pacquiao isn’t that dude anymore,” Thurman told sportswriters on Tuesday, July 16, after the formal arrival of boxers.

Thurman was referring to the prime Pacquiao, who beat the likes of Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Jorge Solis, Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey while leapfrogging divisions from 2006 to 2011.

For his feats, Pacquiao was named Fighter of the Year in 2006, 2008 and 2009 and eventually Fighter of the Decade (2001-2010).

Now, Thurman feels the present crop of elite welterweights  – Errol Spence, Terrence Crawford, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia – which he referred to as “new set of talents” and “new legends in the making,” are ready to take over.

Truth is, he expected Broner to do the job of pulling down Pacquiao from the pedestal.

Thurman said he was rooting for Broner who failed miserably after “he let Pacquiao do too much.”

But Thurman said he has the height and size advantage to succeed.

“I want to trade (punches) with Pacquiao,” said Thurman, who promised to “start with more than tap, tap, tap.”

Thurman said he wants to put Pacquiao in a zone where he can hit him, assuring he’s “healthy enough to whip some ass.”

Of course, other fighters boasted of fighting Pacquiao toe-to-toe only to run away later.

Come Saturday, Thurman must back his words with deeds. Otherwise, he needs to keep his mouth shut. –

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