PBC Full Fight Night On FOX Saturday 20th July 2019 in Las Vegas. This Play-By-Play Boxing Coverage WBA welterweight championship Viewership Competition Manny Pacquiao left, and Keith Thurman poses during a news conference.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 20: WBA welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (L) and WBA welterweight super champion Keith Thurman pose during a news conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The two will meet in a WBA welterweight title fight on July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
If Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman make good on PBC Fight, what they told a packed final press conference here Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time), then fans will be in for a treat when they watch them trade leather.
Filipino boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and undefeated American Keith “One Time” Thurman faced off one last time before fight night during the final pre-fight press conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada, Wednesday evening (Thursday morning, Manila time).
Thurman assured that he will come out with guns blazing in a bid to stop Pacquiao and retain the WBA “super” welterweight championship Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here (Sunday, Manila time).
When a 40-year-old legend who owns a version of the WBA welterweight title battles a 30-year-old star with the recognized world championship, it’s a significant event. Because the legend is future Hall-of-Famer and Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao, the show is even bigger. I’ve said before, this fight is the most important bout of the year, and that’s even more confirmed with the cancellation of Canelo Alvarez’s September 14 date.
Pacquiao, the eight-division boxing world champion and reigning WBA (Regular) Welterweight World Champion will look to add another title to his already-impressive list of accolades when he challenges long-time champion Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this coming Saturday, July 20th (Sunday, July 20st, Manila time) FOX.
“It’s all swing, swing, swing baby,” said the undefeated fighter, who even bet on himself to score an early knockout. “We gotta swing to get a home run. We can’t just sit there and pump-fake all day,” Thurman added.
Keith Thurman gets an A for his pre-fight performance in the arena of talking and hyping up his Saturday clash against Manny Pacquiao. As when he asserted, in bold and convincing fashion, Tuesday: “I’m living a dream. I’m not Martin Luther King, but he said it for us all,” said the 30-year-old hitter from Florida, who owns a 29-0 record.
Thurman’s declaration that he wants to trade blows is music to the ears of Pacquiao, who thrives against fighters who would rather press the action than fight defensively.
With the time for talking nearly over, Pacquiao and Thurman gave their final statements before the big dance.
While he has indeed been relentless in his trash-talking, Thurman has also been nothing but appreciative of the opportunity to be on this stage, the biggest he’s ever been on.
“Years ago, that he had a dream, that a young brother like me could be great in America. I’m striving for greatness. I’m fighting a great fighter, a legend in the sport,” he continued, pacing his oratory masterfully. He understands the power of the pause, how boldness of delivery effects perceived credibility. “My moment is here, my moment is now.”
“That’s why I picked him as an opponent,” said the Filipino star, whose last opponent, Adrien Broner, turned out to be an unwilling dance partner.
It’s clear that Pacquiao and Thurman not only want to win “PBC Fight” their showdown — they also want to look good in doing so.
It’s been tremendous thus far, and the experience isn’t over. I’m looking forward to the fight, I’m looking forward to the final moment when my hand is raised. It’s been a build-up, it’s been a progression my whole career, being an undefeated champion. I remember when I struggled as an interim champion, and when I first had the Regular title, WBA, the one that Manny holds now,” he shared. “Now I’m a Super champion, fighting a legend back here at the MGM Grand, beautiful arena, Las Vegas, I mean, it’s just a beautiful time, a beautiful moment in boxing, and I’m happy to be here.”
And with that, my perception of the welterweight battle shifted a portion of a point. Thurman seems to be a man on a mission. And I recall his wording after his fight against Josesito Lopez, at Barclays Center, in January. He then told media post-fight that Floyd Mayweather had influenced him, that several years into his pro career, he understood how Floyd did it.
Thurman, the undefeated fighter from Clearwater, Florida, has 22 knockouts under his name (out of 29 wins). He is looking for knockout number 23 against Pacquiao, who was last stopped by Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
He stressed that knocking out Pacquiao is not impossible.“I’ve been saying it over and over again that don’t be surprised that Manny Pacquiao goes ‘night night’,” Thurman continued.
Pacquiao, for the most part, has kept quiet even with all the smack that Thurman has sent his way, and maintains that he isn’t taking any of this personally.
“For me, nothing is personal. I have to do my job and I have nothing personal with him, but in our job as fighters, you have to prove something, I have to prove something, and that’s why I am so motivated for this fight. For this training camp, we did a lot, so I’m excited for Saturday.”
He didn’t need to win every second of every round, gun for KOs, risk more to potentially give more bang for the buck to the patrons. No, he’d lose around here or there, all the better to marshal his resources, his stamina. He called Floyd Mayweather “the best seven-round fighter ever.” I expect Thurman will seek to do that come Saturday. is that the right POV, being that maybe Manny Pacquiao is the cash cow fave and also the sentimental favorite in Vegas? Time will tell.
The boxer-slash-senator added that he’s hungry to prove that even at 40, he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level.
Ultimately, though, the chatter, the controversy, all of that will fade, and the quality of the battle, of the two men in that arena, will override. Unless, of course, we get a controversial decision, and on Sunday morning, at 1 am, we are all abuzz with talk about yet another black eye for boxing.
Boxing, theater of the unexpected, can actually be described as rather predictable, in that the black eyes pop up all the time. The unexpected part, I guess, is from what angle they are delivered.