Thurman going down, says Pacquiao sparring partner
LOS ANGELES, USA – Having spent 45 rounds in the ring with Manny Pacquiao, AB Lopez is convinced Keith Thurman is going down on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time).
Lopez, Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner in his training camp here, believes Pacquiao will eventually overpower Thurman in the later rounds and become the undisputed World Boxing Association welterweight champion.
“There’s no way Thurman can prepare for Pacquiao. The best he can do is prepare his mind for the best,” Lopez told Filipino sportswriters after sparring with Pacquiao for 4 rounds at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood on Thursday, July 11. “But Manny is going to overpower him. I see Manny stopping Thurman in the later rounds.”
Pacquiao’s footwork will spell the difference, according to the 23-year-old Lopez, a 5-foot-9 welterweight with a 10-win, 2-loss, 1-draw record with 3 knockouts.
“You don’t see where he is coming from. Manny is incredible with his footwork.”
Lopez experienced it firsthand Thursday, when lead trainer Buboy Fernandez instructed Pacquiao to “zig-zag” while applying pressure.
The result was Lopez got tagged by a body shot and a snappy straight to the head.
“My head and body are still sore,” said Lopez, who also sustained a gash on his right eyebrow.
For Lopez, the pain was nothing compared to the lessons and experiences he got in sharing the ring with the eight-division world champion.
Lopez said he would apply them in his next fight slated August 3 against a yet to be named opponent.
For now, however, Lopez is happy he’s done his part toward putting Pacquiao into sharp shape.
“He’s ready. He can fight even on Saturday (July 13),” said Lopez. “Of course, having another week won’t hurt.”
Jessie Roman, who also sparred with Pacquiao for 4 rounds on Thursday, agreed with Lopez.
“He (Pacquiao) is getting better and better, especially today. He has too much power, super strong.” – Rappler.com
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