There is a lot on the line for Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman isn’t there? These two will square off on July 20th, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A win for either man could propel each of their careers to new heights, while a loss would be detrimental.
That seems like a mouthful for both of these fighters. In the case of Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) the notion of him coming up short in his showdown with Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) as a death nail in his proverbial coffin seems like a stretch. With 70 pro fights under his belt, what more does he have to prove? Nothing, to be quite frank.
The Filipino born star, is boxings first and only eight division world champion. Listing all of his accomplishments would take an absorbent amount of time. The best way to sum up the career of the fighter nicknamed Pac-Man is simple. He is an all-time great fighter.
At one point, much like Pacquiao, Thurman was considered not just the best fighter at the Welterweight division, but one of the very best fighters in the world. Injuries and long spells of inactivity have wiped Thurman away from those conversations. Still, when the undefeated WBA Welterweight champion is fully motivated, he can defeat anyone.
Both of these men have plenty to gain from winning this contest, but it is Thurman who has even more to lose.
At the age of 40, Pacquiao is thought to have lost a step or two. Sure he looked terrific in defeating Adrien Broner in his last ring appearance but, Broner has never quite lived up to the hype that had once surrounded his career. What would a loss at the hands of Thurman mean for Pac-Man?
Pacquiao is not a fighter that is looking to preserve a perfect record. His resume has already been tainted with losses, albeit to other all-time great fighters as well. Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez Erik Morales and Tim Bradley Jr (although highly controversial) are losses that are plastered across his record. Would a loss this Saturday night against Keith Thurman, severely damage his legacy? The answer is no.
At the age of 40, Pacquiao is still one of the elite fighters currently in the sport of boxing. You can hear the excuses already can't you? Thurman was too big, too strong and too young for the much older Pacquiao who is 10 years his senior. Although you can expect Pacquiao too make no excuses in the event that he loses, he will undoubtedly and deservingly so receive a pass.
Should Thurman end up on the losing side of their encounter however, you can expect his critics to come out in droves.
Typically a fighters prime is consider to be in their late 20s to about their early 30s. Thurman is right smack in the middle of his. The WBA champion also has several physical advantages including height and reach. With so much already in his favor, a loss would effectively eliminate Thurman from any discussions as the best at his weight class. Let’s also not forget that at just the age of 30, Thurman is expected to do more in his career going forward. Pac-Man on the other hand is at the end of his.
Let’s put it this way. With a win, Manny Pacquiao is a lock for the hall of fame, with a loss, Pacquiao is still a lock for the hall of fame. He has done everything that you can think of in the sport of boxing. For Thurman this just isn't the case. Win, lose or draw he is no lock for the hall when it is all said and done, but he would be banging on the door with a victory come Saturday night.
We have seen Pacquiao bounce back from devastating losses before. At this point, a loss for Thurman would spell the end for him as a championship threat and force in the division.
Thurman goes by the ring alias “One Time.” Come Saturday night, if he fails to defeat Manny Pacquiao, his career will go down the drain in “No Time.”
As the heat continues to rise, along with the anticipation for yet another Matchroom PPV on Saturday, the much less hyped, but packed show in Essex’s Brentwood Centre takes place this weekend. Topping the bill sees rising British prospect, Michael McKinson up against the Russian, Evgeny Pavko for the vacant WBO European welterweight title.
Both McKinson, 16-0 (2KOs) and Pavko, 18-2-1 (13KOs) are heading into the bout coming off victories. The unbeaten southpaw went the ten-round distance with Ryan Kelly, scoring a dominant unanimous decision to claim the minor WBC ‘International Silver’ belt.
That night four months ago Michael ‘The Problem’ was living up to his nickname as he found angles Kelly could only dream of, moving in and out at speed and, if for a little more power, would most definitely have got his domestic rival out of there early.
Evgeny on the other hand was last in the ring in December 2018 where he scored a technical decision over 8-0, Fedor Vinogradov inside five rounds. Fedor had sustained had a deep cut above his right eye and as a result, his corner threw in the towel in between the 5th and 6th. Before the finish, Pavko was down on two scorecards with three to go, something that McKinson will no doubt take heart from considering how good he himself is at grinding out the points victory.
Speaking to his MTK Global, ‘The Problem’, who also previously held the WBC ‘Youth’ world title, didn’t seem too concerned with his opponent’s approach to fighting,
‘‘He’s clearly a puncher…He’s going to come over, looking to take my head off but that excites me.
Like I always do under pressure, I perform better…You’ve only seen a little bit of what I’m capable of. My potential is massive.’’
The man hoping to take the home fighter’s ‘head off’ also spoke to MTK earlier this week,
‘‘I want to prove again that Russian boxing is at a good level. I also have incentive to win titles that will become an important step for bigger fights.
I know he’s a good technical boxer and that will make it all the more interesting…I never target an early victory. The decisive blow will present itself and until then, I want to show beautiful and competent boxing.’’
Also on Saturday’s Brentwood card is another rising prospect in 10-0 (7KOs), Chantelle Cameron who steps in with Anisha ‘The Massacre’ Basheel of Malawi for the WBC ‘Silver’ lightweight strap and very possibly a future bout with undisputed 135lb female champion, Katie Taylor.
It’s a bout that could end up being the most intriguing of the night as the two women have not been shy in letting the other know what’s gonna happen. Basheel, 10-5 (KOs) has not let her five defeats (three of which came against Lolita Muzeya and all five in her first five fights) dent her confidence as she spoke to WBN,
‘‘They call me The Massacre and I’m going to massacre Cameron…I’m not coming for a holiday, I’m not coming to see London, I’m not coming for a chit-chat and tea. I’m coming all guns blazing.’’
‘Wham Bam Chan’, who’ll be fighting in her third fight in three months, replied in favour,
‘‘She’s delusional. I knew she was going to come out and start saying stuff so she can crack on, but I can’t wait to ram my fist down her throat.
I’ve got speed, power and boxing ability. She’s one dimensional, I’ll like to see what she has to say after the fight.’’
The fights will be shown live on ESPN+ and IFL TV.
Returning on July 19 to New York’s Madison Square Garden, it is clear Teofimo Lopez (13-0, 11 KO) was made for boxing’s grand stage—as much for his brass and post-fight celebrations as for his knockouts.
Top Rank Promotions have moved to give the Brooklyn wunderkind his own card on ESPN+ against the undefeated Masayoshi Nakatani (18-0, 12 KO) in title eliminator. On the line is a matchup with IBF beltholder Richard Commey, who Lopez—never one for reticence—began to point out the flaws the lightweight champion demonstrated over Ray Beltran in his last title defense. Beyond that, Bob Arum and Co. already have plans for a unification against one Vasyl Lomachenko.
In April, Lopez was again at MSG. There he picked up a ruinous knockout, this one over European standout Edis Tatli. Tatli had never before been convincingly defeated—his two losses were by conflicting decisions. But the 21-year-old Lopez, with the perspicacity of a star twice his age, eventually plugged a right hand to Tatli’s midsection that spelled the end of the bout in the fifth round.
One win away from a world title fight, Lopez has been fast-tracked to stardom since his professional debut in 2016. Top Rank had no qualms about signing him directly out of the Summer Olympics in Brazil, where he represented Honduras. The burgeoning puncher so far is dominating his competition, registering 11 knockouts in his first 13 pro contests.
His shining moment in the paid ranks came in 2018, pitted against a hardened contender in Mason Menard. Lopez blew him up with an overhand right in under a minute and the knockout went mainstream for Menard’s collapsing in rigor mortis. It complimented Lopez’s celebratory dancing and prancing earlier that year over Diego Magdaleno.
Magdaleno, a former title challenger himself, was made to look like a complete tomato can. Two leaping left hooks in the seventh period from Lopez left the veteran disheveled, stiffened right up on the canvas.
Nakatani, rated No. 3 in the division by the IBF, does not come close to carrying the same kind of punch and is not nearly the household name Lopez is. But in his own right, Nakatani did enter the sport a touted prospect in Japan and since plied his trade among the country’s quality domestic scene.
While there are no lights as bright as the acme of boxing venues that is MSG, the Japanese underdog has at least served as the headliner back home in nine of his previous 12 fights, dating back to 2014 when he won the OPBF lightweight trinket. He enters the weekend an 11-time defending titleholder—the third tier belt it may be, but still a sought-after strap in Asia that prepares its claimant for the full, 12-round distance.
Most recently, Nakatani extended his unbeaten ledger against the well-experienced puncher Hurricane Futa. He excellently negated the barreling Futa with his immense size, jabbing, and managing the momentum of the contest from a safe distance. Hooks from Nakatani would open up his countryman’s eyebrow and the cut forced the referee to call the bout in the fourth frame. It was just Futa’s second stoppage in 34 bouts.
The Japanese after all has three inches in height and reach on Lopez. That length, with his being just under 6-feet tall, gives Nakatani his best (and only) chance of upending one of the sport’s most promising fighters.
Dadashev, a 28-year-old Russian, is a spectacular talent training out of Oxnard, California under Buddy McGirt as well as a part of Egis Klimas’ ballyhooed stable of Eastern Bloc destroyers. His knockouts have made the rounds but his game revolves around adept, even flashy, footwork.
Marching up the sanctioning body rankings—top 5 by both the WBC and IBF—Dadashev is undefeated, turning away a handful of notable opponents. He is already 1-0 on the year. Typically a slow starter, he got off the canvas in March to defeat Ricky Sismundo by fourth-round knockout.
A grafting left hand in the second round from Sismundo put Dadashev on the ground. But the hotshot puncher, soon after detonated a left hand onto his opponent’s chin, all the while moving backwards, for an impressive finish.
Like most prospects stateside do, the California transplant picked up the NABF belt. And he defended the secondary title over former world champion Antonio DeMarco. Demarco was able to rattle Dadashev some time in Rounds 7 and 10. But Dadashev secured a decision victory, outboxing an aged Demarco the rest of the way.
Matias, 27, may be a lesser-known up-and-comer, but he is no less a dangerous one. The Puerto Rican slugger, who is a world-rated super lightweight by three sanctioning bodies, has yet to be read the scorecards in his professional carer. He is a sound composite puncher, bashing all 13 of his opponents inside of six rounds. This includes two-time Olympian Patrick Lopez and the hard-hitting pair of brothers Breidis and Daulis Prescott.
After making the elder Prescott quit from four rounds of steady punishment, Matias two months later dropped Fernando Saucedo in the opening round. And that was enough to convince the opposing corner to pull their man out. Matias’ victim—whose gaudy record of over 60 wins is par for the course for Argentina’s manufactured, promotional machine—was still technically a former world title challenger. As low as featherweight, sure, but not even a sizable two-divisional champion like Rances Barthelemy could take out Saucedo. It took Matias three minutes.
In March, Matias was at the top of the bill in his native Puerto Rico. He had a welterweight veteran in front of him, giving up inches in height to Wilberth Lopez. The same Lopez to extend the distance a bevy of heavy-handed bangers like Alex Saucedo, Isaac Dogboe and Ivan Baranchyk. Matias banged him out in six rounds.
All told, Matias presents Dadashev a real challenge. In fact, the Russian’s team must be confident in him given the high risk-low reward that a lethal, unheralded puncher like Matias concretizes.
Dmitry Kudryashov (23-3, 3 KOs) is set to make a move over to MMA. The Russian Hammer will fight on Fight Nights Global on October 12th in Moscow, Russia.
Kudryashov was a former WBA International and WBC silver cruiserweight champion. With tremendous power in his fists, Dmitry Kudryashov will headline the card according to Fight Nights Global president, Kamil Gadzhiev.
"It would be correct to say that October night in Moscow will be headlined by Dmitry Kudryashov. About a year ago we happened to talk with him about a possible MMA fight. I have cherished the idea for a long time. I think it's finally time that this idea can be implemented,” says Gadzhiev.
Dmitry Kudryashov competed in the World Boxing Super Series and lost to Yunier Dorticos in the first leg of the tournament. Dorticos is now in the cruiserweight finals. Kudryashov went on to win his next two bouts after losing his last fight to Ilunga Makabu in June.
An opponent for Kudryashov has not yet been selected. It is unclear if Dmitry Kudryashov intends to stay competing in mixed martial arts or if there a return to boxing any time soon.
Fight Nights Global is one of the biggest mixed martial arts promotions in the world. Based out of Russia, the promotion has some of the best talent outside the UFC. Some of the most popular talent coming out of Fight Nights Global is Diego Brandão, Fedor Emelianenko, Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Nikita Krylov, Antonio Silva, and Tim Sylvia.
Being a cruiserweight, Dmitry Kudryashov will likely fight at 93kg (205 pounds). I MMA, that is considered the light heavyweight division. Kudryashov, having plenty of combat sports experience, will likely use that experience to cross over, training for a completely different sport. While some of his skills, like punching speed and power, will transfer over, he will need to learn a new set is skills to compete at the highest level in mixed martial arts.
You can see it in seemingly endless videos on YouTube. A small group of people slowly approach as they run along a Los Angeles park in the quiet early morning hours. Closer and closer the runners get, until, finally, they pass by in a moment of crunching gravel and heavy breaths. The center of the group, the leader of the pack, if you will, is the one and only Manny Pacquiao, legendary star of the ring. This is his run, his park, his universe. As the video continues, Pacquiao and crew finish their run, sometimes at the peak of famed Griffith Park. There, an even larger crowd awaits to see their hero engage in calisthenics and shadow boxing. Welcome to a Manny Pacquiao training camp, the same kind of training camp the eight division titlist has always had.
Only it isn't the same. Not any more. Pacquiao is older now, forty in fact. In the world of professional athletics, he may as well be a thousand. As Bernard Hopkins, who successfully defied age for ages, indicated, fighters who are getting on in years are better served fine tuning their regimens a bit. A boxer at forty isn't the same as boxer at thirty, much less a boxer in his or her twenties. It was Pacquiao's 2017 fight with Jeff Horn, which most feel Pacquiao should have won (though he lost a decision to Horn in Horn's native Australia), that reportedly got the fighter to change his ways. “It’s not just about training, Pacquiao is quoted by saying by Premiere Boxing Champions which is promoting the Filipino icon's Saturday bout against WBA welterweigtht champ Keith Thurman, “it’s about working hard and pushing yourself to the limit. Push. Push. Push,” Pacquiao adds that “if you don’t push your opponent, he will push you away in the ring.” Yet Pacquiao now feels that rest needs to be a top priority, as well.
“If he wakes up,” Yahoo quotes trainer Freddie Roach as saying, “and his body doesn’t feel right or he just doesn’t think he has it that day, he just takes the day off.” Roach adds that: “He never wanted to do that before. But he understands now that a day off here and there is actually more beneficial to him than just grinding, grinding and grinding some more is.” Strength and conditioning expert Justin Fortune is quoted by Yahoo as saying Pacquiao is now “training smarter, not harder, and listening to his body.”
With the fight between he and the younger, colorful Thurman now just days away, Pacquiao's most recent training camp has ended. It will all be about resting and perhaps light exercise now that the bout itself is only days away. Pacquiao has looked impressive during the leadup to the Thurman fight, very impressive. Some say it's because the brash Floridian has gotten under Pacquiao's skin with his trash talk. Perhaps altering his preparation may have something to do with it, as well. No one will know how things will work out for Pacquiao until the opening bell rings Saturday night in Vegas. The only guarantee is that the fighter known as PacMan will slip in between the ropes that night looking ready for war – the very thing he's been preparing for.
Although Mexican holiday weekends in September and May are known as occasions for Canelo Alvarez fights, this September's Mexican Independence Day weekend will be an exception. For it's been announced that the red haired star will not be fighting this on September 14th, as was widely expected. “As a Mexican,” Alvarez declared, “it’s a responsibility and an honor to represent my country in both May and September...those are my dates. However, as a world champion in multiple weight classes, I also have the responsibility of delivering the most exciting and competitive fights possible. That’s why Golden Boy and my team have decided to postpone the date in order to do right by my fans by promoting the best fight possible and with the best opponent possible.”
Word is that Canelo isn't interested in fighting arch rival Gennady Golovkin again – at least not in the near future – and that there simply aren't any names that can feasibly be matched with Canelo in time for September 14th. Possible opponents whose names were being bandied about were Sergey Kovalev, and Demetrius Andrade, among others. ESPN reports that DAZN, the streaming service Canelo fights on, had wanted Canelo to face Golovkin for a third time after two popular, lucrative and highly controversial middleweight title bouts. Yet apparently the biggest name if the fight business wanted nothing of it. ESPN also reports that, although DAZN was happy to let Canelo fight light heavyweight kingpin Kovalev instead of Golovkin, a deal simply couldn't be reached for the September 14th fight date.
With all that in mind, Canelo is still expected to fight once again in 2019. At the moment, the 52-1-2 fighter is in the midst of an insanely lucrative 300-plus million dollar contract with DAZN. That means, however, that DAZN most likely has a say as to who Canelo gets to fight. With Golovkin having signed onto the streaming service for a ton of money himself, there may indeed be friction now that Canelo has opted not to face Golovkin again. Many, if not most, feel Canelo lost his first fight with Golovkin, although the judges ruled it a draw. There are those who felt Canelo lost his second fight with Golovkin, as well, though the judges gave him the nod on that occasion. That being said, Canelo is widely regarded as a fighter who isn't afraid to take risks, a fact some would say is evidenced by Canelo's seeming interest in facing Kovalev, a highly skilled, naturally bigger man.
Canelo's last fight showed him besting the highly regarded Daniel Jacobs in impressive fashion, earning a well deserved unanimous decision win in Las Vegas, a city seen, sometimes skeptically, as the Mexican icon's second home. Should Canelo fight again this year, which is something that is highly expected, it still remains uncertain who it is he will face. Canelo now holds belts in both the middleweight and super middleweight divisions. The World Boxing Council is particularly impressed with Canelo, who it recently gave a special title to.
The sport of boxing is always in search for its next big star. This past Saturday night on July 13th, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, it may have found exactly who it was looking for.
Vito Mielnicki Jr. stole the show on the same card that featured another rising star in the making in Shakur Stevenson. Mielnicki made a sensational pro debut as he scored a jaw dropping first round knockout against Tamarcus Smith.
Smith, admittingly enough, has only two wins in his career with three losses. So why exactly is the sports world buzzing from what Mielnicki did on Saturday night? With his win, he became the youngest professional boxer in the sport of New Jersey, at just 17 years of age.
It wasn't just that he scored a knockout win, but it was how he pulled it off. It was a right hand that was the last punch of a three hit combination that had his man down and out.
The 17 year old nicknamed, “White Magic” showed exactly why there has been so much hype surrounding him. As for his emotions after the contest, he was ecstatic about the win.
"It was exactly how I envisioned it. With the crowd and everything, it made it a lot more electric," recalled Mielnicki. "I worked for this my whole life, and I knew everything was going to payoff tonight."
For those who are wondering why isn’t this young kid at home doing homework and studying. It’s because he is currently on Summer vacation. It’s safe to say he's enjoying every bit of it.
"I go back to school in September. I will consult with my manager Anthony Catanzaro and see what the best fit is for me in terms of a promoter and platform.”
With a performance like that, he is sure to have a line a mile long, as potential promoters will be clamoring to get their hands on him. Calling him a star might be a tad too early, but he just might end up being something special.
Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) has been in some big fights in his career. Two match ups against Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia pushed him to near stardom and gave him the sort of experience you just can't buy. Those experiences however, won't compare to what he has ahead of him as a showdown with Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) is just a few short days away.
As we get closer, more and more experts as well as fans are backing Pacquiao to get it done against the fighter nicknamed “One Time”. No matter how much he has prepared, there is just no way to get ready for someone like Pacquiao. It’ll be a tough contest for Thurman, but one he can easily win. All he has to do is follow our keys and it will surely lead him to victory.
Set And Keep A Fast Pace
Thurman always comes out of the gates on fire. In his 2017, unification contest against Danny Garcia, he set the tone for the first half of the contest by landing some huge bombs. The second half of that fight saw Thurmans pace slow down considerably. Even in his last ring appearance, after being away from the sport of boxing while recovering from injury, he still employed the same game plan. A second round knockdown and dominant first half, really set the tempo for Thurman. Yet again, the second half of the contest was a bit shaky as he was hurt several times.
If Thurman can keep his pace consistent for both the first and second half of the fight, he should be able to run right through Manny Pacquiao. At the age of 40, Pacquiao hasn't exactly shown signs of slowing down. With that being said, it will be difficult for him to keep up a frantic pace if Thurman chooses to push the tempo for the entire contest.
Go Down To The Body
Hardly any of Pacquiao’s opponents ever go to his body. Why is that? Pacquiao uses a ton of movement when he fights. Also at just five feet five inches, his smaller, more compact body could make it difficult to successfully attack his midsection, but still, no one has really kept a consistent attack down there.
The fighter nicked named Pac-Man has been stopped three times in his career, but those should come with an asterisk attached to them. Only once has he been stopped as this current version of himself, as the other two came at an early point in his career. With 70 fights under his belt, it’s safe to say that Pac-Man can take a punch.
Moving from side to side with a continual high energy rate can be a problem for Thurman, he needs to slow his man down. As hall of famer Teddy Atlas would say “put some water in the basement.” Or in other words. If you want to slow a guy down, go down to the body. That is exactly what Thurman should do.
Stay Off The Ropes
Thurman loves to hit and move. He’s terrific at it, but he does find himself having a few issues at times. During his matches, Thurman typically finds himself trapped against the ropes and having to fight himself off of them. Laying back on the ropes is the last place that Thurman wants to be when he’s facing Pacquiao. Once there, that’s when Pac-Man does his best work, usually letting off about a ten punch combination which gets the fans behind him and looks good for the judges.
Pacquiao is already the favorite going in. The last thing Thurman needs is the perception, although it may not be true, that Pacquiao is controlling the fight. Simply put, if he stay off the ropes Keith Thurman will keep his undefeated record intact.
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 9th to July 16th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Yordenis Ugas Camp Quotes
Welterweight contender, Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) wrapped up his final day of training camp and talks about his up coming showdown with Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1, 19 KOs), a 12-round bout that will serve as the co-main event to Senator Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao vs. WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith "One Time" Thurman, ahead of their Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event this Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office.
Here is what he said about training camp, facing another undefeated fighter, and more.
On his upcoming fight with Omar Figueroa Jr.:
"This is a big opportunity for me to derail another undefeated fighter. Omar Figueroa Jr. is a young hungry fighter who's never tasted defeat but that will all change on July 20th. He's never been in with an experienced fighter like me. I have the style to beat him and I'm going to let my hands fly on fight night!
On fighting in the biggest boxing event of the year:
"I can't ask for a better situation at this stage of my career. To be fighting on FOX PPV, on the same card as one of the greatest fighters to ever step in the ring in Manny Pacquiao, is a dream come true. I'm truly blessed to be fighting on such a big stage and I'm going to give the fans a night to remember. The fans deserve a war and that's what I'm going to give them."
On what a win will do for his career:
"Beating an undefeated fighter like Figueroa will get me right back into a world title fight. These are the type of fights I need to win if I'm going to become a world champion. I'm determined more than ever to prove to the world that I'm one of the best welterweights in the division."
On his recent training camp:
"Training camp is finally all wrapped up. I did my last day of sparring this past weekend. My trainer Ismael Salas has a masterful game plan in place that we believe will be the perfect blueprint to beat Figueroa. I'm in tremendous shape, ready to let me hands go."
Devin Haney Back in the Gym Going Hard
Undefeated lightweight contender, Devin "The Dream" Haney (22-0, 14 KOs), has returned to the gym after his sensational knockout over Antonio Moran, a fight that took place at the MGM National Harbor Hotel in Maryland on May 25, 2019.
Haney, no longer a prospect, is now ranked top ten by all four sanctioning bodies in the lightweight division and is currently WBC #2, WBO #,5 WBA #3 and #9 in the IBF. Beyond that, the bible of boxing, Ring Magazine, has Devin Haney #4 on their own list of the best lightweights in the world. This is no small feat for a boxer who is barely 20-years old. Haney is back in the gym as he awaits his next fight date.
"I'm back in the gym getting ready with an unofficial date in September," stated Haney. "Ironically the WBC ordered a lightweight tournament to decide the mandatory for the winner of Loma vs Campbell. When Teofimo Lopez went the opposite direction, it made me and Zaur Abdulaev the final elimination bout. I'm also ranked #3 WBA and #5 WBO so my opportunity for a World Title is right around the corner. I took a well deserved break that I hadn't taken since I began the sport. Now I'm recharged and ready to reap havoc on the lightweight division."
"I'm looking forward to getting back in the ring," Haney Continued. "My time is coming and I will be 100% ready to show the everyone that I'm ready for a world title shot."
Coming this Saturday: Pacquiao vs. Thurman Broadcast Live to US Movie Theaters
Boxing's only eight-division world champion, Philippine Senator and regular WBA welterweight champion Manny "Pac Man" Pacquiao returns to face undefeated Super WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith "One Time" Thurman in a powerhouse 147-pound showdown broadcast live on Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With his speed, power and tremendous boxing skills, Thurman represents the most dangerous challenger that the future Hall of Famer Pacquiao has faced in recent bouts. This high-stakes match will firmly give the winner a claim for the top spot in one of boxing's deepest and most talented divisions.
Tickets for “Pacquiao vs. Thurman” can be purchased online at www.FathomEvents.com or at participating theater box offices now.
The live broadcast of “Pacquiao vs. Thurman” presented by Fathom Events, Premier Boxing Champions and FOX Sports is set for Saturday, July 20 beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. MT / 6:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. AK / 3:00 p.m. HI. Boxing fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in more than 175 select movie theaters through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network (DBN). A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
A three-time Fighter of the Year and the Boxing Writers Association of America's reigning Fighter of the Decade, Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, is the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title. Pacquiao's boxing resume features victories over at least seven current and future Hall of Famers, including Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
In his last match on January 19, Pacquiao put on a vintage performance against four-division champion Adrien Broner, scoring a 12-round unanimous decision in the 70th match of his illustrious career. It was his first time fighting in the U.S. in two years. Before that, he scored an impressive knockout over Lucas Matthysse to win his version of the WBA welterweight championship in Malaysia last July 15.
The 30-year-old Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) is the longest reigning welterweight champion in boxing, having collected his WBA title with a stoppage victory over Diego Chaves in 2013. He has successfully defended that title eight times and became a unified welterweight champion when he defeated Danny Garcia by split decision to win the WBC title. Thurman was out of action for nearly two years due to injuries before getting back into the ring with a hard-fought victory against Josesito Lopez in January. His power punching earned him the nickname "One Time.''
“Fight fans coast-to-coast were thrilled to watch Pacquiao’s victory over Broner live and larger-than-life in their local cinemas in January,” said Ray Nutt, Fathom Events CEO. “We’re pleased to partner again with our friends at FOX Sports and Premier Boxing Champions to bring another of Pac Man’s highly-anticipated bouts to the big screen.”
Freddie Roach: It Will Be One Time vs. All Time
For the third time in 12 months, boxing’s only eight-division world champion and boxer laureate Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) will be battling in a world championship fight. Forget collecting on a pension, amazin’ Manny, 40, the reigning Fighter of the Decade, will be punching more than the clock this Saturday, when he tries to complete his world title hat trick, against undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida, who is 10 years Manny’s junior. The Pacquiao – Thurman welterweight world title attraction headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
“Keith Thurman has it easy. His only job is to train for this fight. I have three jobs. I am a fighter. I am a public servant. And on Saturday, I am going to be Keith Thurman’s teacher,” said Manny. “I have heard everything he has said about me. I have heard everything he has said he will do to me in the fight. Those things he says about me do not make me angry. They inspire me. This has been the best training camp I have had in years. Keith Thurman thinks he is going to retire me. I am not ready to look back. I am still looking forward. Keith Thurman is going to be very surprised by what he sees from me in the ring. He is going to leave the ring a very disappointed fighter.”
“It will be ‘One Time’ vs. All Time,” said Manny’s Hall of Fame trainer world-famous Freddie Roach. “Thurman may be ten years younger but Manny still has extraordinary talent and an era’s worth of experience against Hall of Fame opposition. The betting action on this fight reflects that. I have done a lot of interviews. All the media seem to be picking Thurman to win. They consider this a battle between Generation X and Generation Geritol. But we’re talking about Manny Pacquiao. He pushed himself to the limit in this training camp. Youth will be served a big slice of humble pie on Saturday night.”
Statement from Salita Promotions Regarding Otto Wallin vs. B.J. Flores Heavyweight Fight
As part of the licensing process in the state of Washington, the doctor appointed by the boxing commission to oversee tonight’s event reviewed medical tests and determined that B.J. Flores would not be medically cleared to compete. Based on that opinion, Washington State Department of Licensing spokesperson Gigi Zenk notified Salita Promotions this afternoon that they would not issue B.J. Flores a license to fight against Otto Wallin tonight. Due to medical privacy requirements we are unable to provide further information at this time.”
STATEMENT FROM WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF LICENSING SPOKESPERSON GIGI ZENK: “Benjamin Flores was not medically cleared to compete.”
DAZN to Broadcast Whyte-Rivas Around the World
The heavyweight title eliminator between Dillian Whyte and Oscar Rivas for the number one spot in the WBC will be streamed live in all DAZN markets on Saturday, July 20, from The O2 in London. DAZN is available across four continents with the service available in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Japan and Brazil.
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: “This is a huge night of Heavyweight boxing and I’m excited for DAZN subscribers that they will get to watch it live. Dillian Whyte who has proved himself as one on the best Heavyweights on the planet takes on the relentless unbeaten Oscar Rivas who is coming off a brutal knockout of Bryant Jennings. Brit Derek Chisora faces off against Poland’s Artur Szpilka and crowd favourite Dave Allen tackles David Price in a big domestic shootout. Tune in and don’t miss it!"
Whyte (25-1 18 KOs) holds the number one slot with the WBC and puts that on the line as the hard-hitting ‘Body Snatcher’ continues to blast his path to a World title shot. The Brixton banger put Derek Chisora away in devastating style in his last outing, the pair thrilling the Greenwich crowd in their rematch in December – before icing Del Boy in the 11th round.
The 31-year-old Briton will be gunning for a tenth straight win against Rivas, with wins over Joseph Parker, Robert Helenius and Lucas Browne sandwiched between his two wins over Chisora. Whyte has become a must-watch fighter since rocking old foe Anthony Joshua in their battle at The O2 in December 2012, and yet again takes on a high-risk challenge as he cements his spot as the leading Heavyweight contender in the world.
Rivas (26-0 18 KOs) is yet another dangerous challenger for Whyte to risk his number one rankings with, and the Colombian comes into the bout on the back of his biggest win in the paid ranks. Rivas traveled to Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York in January and KO’d former World title challenger Bryant Jennings in the final round of their clash, underlining his dangerous potential to World titlists and fellow contenders.
In the United States, action will begin on DAZN at 1:00 p.m. ET with the full six-fight Matchroom Boxing undercard from The O2 in London.
As it currently stands, Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman is undoubtedly the biggest fights of the year. It also will be one of the toughest in the long career of Pacquiao as well. When this fight was first announced, Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) was the betting favorite. The rabid fanbase of Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) has since changed that.
Pacquiao might be viewed as the favorite going into this contest according to the odds, but make no mistake about it, he will have several disadvantages including height, speed and a decided 10 year difference in age. For any other fighter, these unfavorable circumstances would prove to be too much to overcome, but not for Pacquiao. The fighter nicknamed Pac-Man has plenty of paths to victory.
Continue reading as we highlight the three most important keys that will lead to his victory over Keith Thurman on July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cut Off The Ring
For all of Thurmans bravado coming into this contest, his natural tendencies as a fighter just does not match up with what he has been saying. Thurman has promised to bring the fight right to Manny but, if you have been watching Thurman for the entirety of his career then you will know that he isn't exactly a knockout artist. He’s more of a boxer puncher. Thurman does have plenty of power but he would much rather use the entirety of the ring to make his opponents work.
Thurman has called Pacquiao a bunny rabbit because of his in and out nonstop movement. In actuality, it’s Thurman who moves continually during his contest. Pac-Man needs to neutralize that. If he can get his man in the corners of the ring or against the ropes then that will give him a chance to do what he does best, let his hands go.
Whether The Early Storm
The WBA Welterweight champion Keith Thurman has shown a tendency to get off too fast starts. He is a terrific fighter for the first half of fights. During the second half however, he tends to take his foot off the gas.
The reason behind this strategy is that he likes to build an early lead on the scorecards of the judges and coast to victory. When the championship rounds arrive, he’ll usually steal one of those rounds which will aide in his victory. Just ask Danny Garcia how effective this strategy is. During that unification contest which took place in 2017, Thurman dominated the first half of the action and coasted during the second half, picking up another round or two along the way which made it impossible for Garcia to win. Pacquiao needs to fight fire with fire. If the eight division world champion could at the very least battle Thurman to a draw during the first half of the fight, he should be able to dominate the back end of it.
Hurt Thurman Early
The theme of Thurmans game plan, at least the game plan he has revealed to the media, is roughing up Pac-Man. Thurman has condemned Pacquiao for struggling with the physicality of Jeff Horn. Although most of the boxing world believes that Pacquiao was unjustly given a loss during that contest, he did have a bit of a hard time with the rugged approach of Horn.
Let's not forget that Pacquiao did almost have his man out in the ninth round. If Thurman truly intends to be physical than Pac-Man needs to get his respect early. If Pacquiao is able to buzz him, then Thurman might think twice about just trying to bulldoze the smaller Pacquiao.