Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman, Thurman vs Pacquiao Fight Live in Las Vegas billed as Welterweight Supremacy is an upcoming professional boxing superfight for the WBA (Super) welterweight championship. The fight will take place on July 20, 2019, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The battle between WBA “Regular” Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao and WBA Super World Welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman is the undeniable draw for the July 20 card at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but the fight will be preceded by a pretty strong undercard.
Take a look at the fights that will set up the main event.
IBF Super Middleweight – (c) Caleb Plant (18-0, 10 KO) vs. Mike Lee (21-0, 11 KO)
After a spirited and impressive performance against Jose Uzcategui to capture the IBF title in January, Plant is set for his first world title defense against Chicago’s Mike Lee. Both men are undefeated as professionals, and this should be an entertaining scrap.
Neither Plant nor Lee is a big puncher, so this is a fight that looks like it’ll go the distance, but you never know until they lock horns in the ring.
WBC Welterweight – Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KO) vs. Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1, 19 KO)
WBA welterweight champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquaio, will take on undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman on Saturday, July 20 in a FOX Sports pay-per-view event.
Adding to the excitement of the evening, PBC will present 2-hours of boxing action topped by undefeated IBF super middleweight world champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant making his first title defense against unbeaten Mike Lee on the FOX and FOX Deportes in the same ring where Pacquiao and Thurman will later battle.
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Fresh off a controversial loss to Shawn Porter in his last fight, Ugas climbs into the ring with former world champion Omar Figueroa Jr. The latter is trying to regain momentum after long periods of inactivity. Figueroa Jr. is still undefeated at 28-0-1. In his last bout, he scored a unanimous-decision victory over John Molina Jr. A win would potentially elevate him into the conversation amongst the next tier of welterweights signed with Premier Boxing Champions.
At one point, I thought Figueroa might be a good opponent for Pacquiao, but the legend and PBC had sights set higher. If Figueroa were to pull off a win against Ugas, it would go a long way toward raising his stock.
Welterweight – Sergey Lipinets (15-1, 11 KO) vs. John Molina Jr. (30-8, 24 KO)
Lipinets is a man with some positive momentum. He scored a thrilling stoppage victory over the rugged Lamont Peterson in March, which led to the latter’s retirement. He’s not drawing an elite fighter in Molina, but one who is experienced and who has been in with many of the top names in the division.
This could turn out to be a bit of a showcase fight for Lipinets against an opponent who hasn’t been hard to hit throughout his career. However, Molina can take a shot, and he has power. Lipinets never backs down from a slugfest, so this one could be another brawl.
Thurman – Pacquiao Presser
The two main-eventers met face-to-face for a presser on Wednesday in Los Angeles. While there is evident respect between the two men, Thurman made it known, he plans on stopping Pacquiao. It’s also clear, Pacquiao is motivated by taking on a challenge from a man 10 years his junior whom everyone seems to believe will beat him.
Pacquiao is unlike anyone we’ve seen in the sport, so he’s a hard fighter to count out–even when all signs point to a defeat. That makes the fight all the more compelling, and the respectable undercard doesn’t hurt the overall broadcast.
WBA “regular” champion Manny Pacquiao wanted a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, but it appears he may have to settle for a PPV clash with WBA Super champion Keith Thurman. Per FOX Sports’ Mike Coppinger, the two sides are in “advanced” talks on a bout that would take place in July.
This fight is 100-percent pay-per-view worthy and it makes sense on the surface. However, it is a major risk for Pacquiao. While Thurman looked a bit vulnerable in his return to the ring against Josesito Lopez in January after a nearly two-year layoff, he’s still a bigger man than Pacquiao who possesses a dangerous combination of power and speed.
Also, Thurman is 10 years younger than the 40-year-old Filipino legend. There’s an obvious chance Pacquiao could lose, and that loss could easily come by stoppage. This is boxing and anything can happen. Styles make fights and we have seen Thurman have some issues with veteran southpaws like Luis Collazo.
We know Pacquiao still has significant speed, as evidenced by his one-sided win over Adrien Broner a week prior to Thurman’s win over Lopez. However, Thurman is not Broner–even when he is potentially feeling the effects of ring rust. I’d venture to say it’s more likely Thurman wins by KO than lose a decision to Pacquiao. If Pacquiao faces Thurman and loses–especially by KO–any hopes of a Mayweather fight would seemingly dissipate.
Even if the two 40-somethings were to still fight in the future, the money-driven bout would seem to lose some of its appeals. With less-dangerous, but less-lucrative fights against fighters like Omar Figueroa possible, taking on Thurman is a gamble. The fight is perhaps only marginally less risky than a bout with IBF champion Errol Spence.
That’s the fight it seemed Spence and Premier Boxing Champions were pushing initially, but Pacquiao didn’t appear interested. The fight with Thurman might be Plan B.
Facing Pacquiao is great for Thurman. While Pacquiao still poses a threat, he’s no longer a big puncher at welterweight. In fact, he’s never really shown himself to be a huge power threat at 147 pounds. Thurman probably won’t have to worry about the one-shot KO unless it’s from a body shot where he’s shown vulnerabilities in the past.
Fighting Pacquiao represents the lowest risk for the highest reward for Thurman, and it allows him another fight before perhaps facing the likes of Spence or even WBO champion Terence Crawford in a unification match.
A win over Pacquiao would give Thurman all of the WBA belts. It’s a perfect setup for Thurman to align his exit strategy from the sport. He’s only 30, but Thurman is smart and a gifted pontificator of the sport. A career as an analyst seems like a no-brainer for him.
A Pacquiao payday followed by another one or two with Spence and Crawford sounds like a retirement fund. If Thurman could emerge victorious in those bouts, he would have a serious claim to being the best of this mini-era in welterweight championship boxing.