Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman
Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 10:00 PM (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
The Line: Pacquiao +128 / Thurman -142 -- Over/Under: Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman fight Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the World Boxing Association Super World Welterweight Title.
Manny Pacquiao enters this fight with a 61-7-2 record that includes 39 knockouts. Pacquiao has won seven of his last nine fights, and he’s coming off a January win over Adrien Broner. Pacquiao gave Boner a boxing lesson by dominating him and controlling the pace from start to finish, and he nearly dropped him in the seventh and ninth rounds. While Broner is a bum who is only collecting checks at this point and not wanting to throw punches, it was a promising showing from Pacquiao and one that proves there’s still plenty left in that gas tank. Pacquiao is 40 years old, stands at 5’5” and has a 67-inch reach. Pacquiao may not be as quick as he once was, but he still dodges punches well and his work rate hasn’t dropped a bit. Pacquiao threw 568 total punches in his last bout and showed there’s still some pop in those hands, as he nearly produced two knockdowns. Most fighters are a shell of themselves at this stage and are risking being put in a coma when they enter the ring, but Pacquiao somehow has a lot of the same tools that made him arguably a top-10 boxer of all time. While slower and not as crisp with his punches, Pacquiao is far from washed up and still capable of holding his own with just about anybody within the division. This will be Pacquiao’s 21st career fight in Nevada.
Keith Thurman enters this fight with a 29-0 record that includes 22 knockouts. This will be Thurman’s third fight since 2017, and he’s coming off a January win over Josesito Lopez. Thurman got in the ring for the first time in two years and put together a questionable performance. While he landed far more shots than his opponent, he wasn’t able to produce a finish and was in serious trouble in the seventh round. Thurman didn’t finish the fight strong and it’s why the scorecards were a lot closer than they needed to be, which is sure to raise questions entering this bout. Thurman is 30 years old, stands at 5’7”, has a 69-inch reach and an orthodox stance. Before his leave of absence Thurman established himself as a great technical boxer who makes key adjustments between rounds, and he has great footwork to go along with solid hand speed. Thurman has great punching power despite five of his last six bouts ending in decision and used to put his punches together with the best of them. The one area of concern with Thurman is that he is a bit susceptible to counters and has notable holes in his defense. This will be Thurman’s fifth career fight in Nevada.
You have to question Thurman entering this bout, as he hasn’t been in the ring much these last couple of years and it feels like that motivation is gone ever since he got married. Even in his last bout, Thurman looked shaky at best and was lucky he didn’t get put away, as he wobbled in that seventh round. Pacquiao may be 40 years old, but we know where his motivation level is at and the fact he still enjoys boxing. That’s important in combat sports, as fighters usually get washed when they have one foot in and one foot out. Pacquiao still has that aggressive mentality in the ring and we know he’s going to be well prepared and isn’t going to beat himself. I’m just not all that high on Thurman at the moment and the fact he continues to dodge Errol Spence tells me he doesn’t lacks some belief as well. While Pacquiao isn’t Spence, he certainly isn’t chopped liver and is more than capable of getting the job done here.
I like Pacquiao to give Thurman his first loss.