Can Manny unmask Thurman?
It may not be right to compare him to Muhammad Ali. But it’s also hard to deny Keith Thurman has tried to scrape bits from the Ali legend and used this in pumping his ego.
Thurman, 30 and unbeaten, is loud and wordy like Ali. He indeed has helped tremendously in the selling of his July 20 championship clash with legendary Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.
Thurman has been a colorful peddler of the big fight.
In the process though, Thurman has slurred and undermined Pacquiao to a point that the eight-division world champion, pride of his country, had started to appear inferior, which is never the case.
Pacquiao gets the chance to disprove all Thurman’s shallow allegations in the WBA welterweight unification clash, when the Filipino icon displays his ageless worth, at the same time hopefully unmasking Thurman.
How skillful and courageous is Thurman, who continued to boast and own up to superior ring craft and intelligence?
Thurman said he would go for a first-round stoppage, even putting a bet on himself.
Other than dazzle and outpunch Thurman, Pacquiao should promptly put his younger rival in his proper place.
At least Pacquiao, who had allowed himself to be annoyed earlier after Thurman cried he would crucify the fighting Filipino senator, has calmed down to take control and maintain humility.
Other than Pacquiao’s patented speed and firepower, he will have to work harder on defense.
It cannot be denied that Thurman’s main purpose in pestering his opponent is for Pacquiao to lose focus.
It won’t be farfetched for Thurman to resume taunting and distracting Pacquiao inside the ring during their duel.
How nice that Pacquiao has assured he was not basing his overall assessment of Thurman on the unbeaten American’s poor struggling finish against Josesito Lopez in January.
Truth is Thurman has himself tried to disassociate himself from that trashy performance.
Has Thurman trained hard enough against Pacquiao, who has the ability, cleverness and firepower to make him wilt and fade early or late in the match?
Pacing and patience should pay dividends in the second half and Pacquiao, as predicted by trainer Freddie Roach, could deliver a knockout around the ninth round.
There’s the promise of a thrilling brutal encounter.
Thurman-Pacquiao has all the makings of a classic championship, a fight of the year candidate.
Hold it. It has been brought out in the open. So is it true that, other than elbow and hand injuries, Thurman also hurt his back in an automobile accident, main reason behind his prolonged layoff?
Thurman veered from the topic about his overall health, brushing aside what he called pain and negativism, while maintaining a positive posture.
Maybe Thurman was trying to be extra careful?
Pacquiao, for his part, has been quoted as saying he won’t be caught playing it carefree.
Thurman: “We gotta swing to get a homerun.”
Pacquao: “It’s easy to say things, but it’s not easy to do it in the ring.”
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