Pacquiao likes underdog label vs Thurman

Roy Luarca

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Pacquiao likes underdog label vs Thurman
Oddsmakers pick American Keith Thurman as the slight favorite over Manny Pacquiao in their July bout for the WBA welterweight crown



MANILA, Philippines – Being an underdog suits Manny Pacquiao just fine.

Informed that oddsmakers made Keith Thurman the slight favorite in their battle for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time), Pacquiao flashed a wide grin.

“Beautiful. That’s what I want,” Pacquiao told sportswriters after a meeting with team owners of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League on Thursday at Century Park Hotel. “Parang (Oscar) De La Hoya. It’s going to be an added motivation.”

Pacquiao was a +150 underdog when he made De La Hoya (-180 favorite) quit on his stool before the start of the 9th round.

Initial figures listed Thurman a -135 favorite and Pacquiao a +115 underdog in their unification collision at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Meaning, a $135 bet on Thurman, the WBA super 147-pound champion, wins just $100, while a $100 wager on Pacquiao, the WBA regular champion in the same division, earns $115.

International matchmaker Sean Gibbons, Pacquiao’s right-hand man, was hardly surprised by the odds, Thurman being young at 30 and unbeaten (29-0, 22 knockouts).

Pacquiao, 40, totes a 61-7-2 record with 39 KOs.

Gibbons, however, expects the odds to change as the 12-rounder draws closer.

“Thurman’s never fought somebody like the Senator,” said Gibbons, noting the big difference between a good fighter like Thurman and a great one like Pacquiao.

Aware of Thurman’s credentials, Pacquiao started his preparations early, sweating it out at the gym on Tuesday in General Santos City.

Pacquiao and some members of his team will leave for New York on Sunday night, do a photo and video shoot on Monday, May 20 (Tuesday, May 21, Philippine time), attend the fight’s press conference with Thurman at Gotham Hall on Tuesday then proceed to Los Angeles for another press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Team Pacquiao returns home the same night, arriving in Manila early Friday.

Training, under Buboy Fernandez, the newly elected vice mayor of Polangui, Albay, is expected to start Monday, May 27. –


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