Future Hall of Famer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and unbeaten WBA welterweight world champion Keith “One Time” Thurman went face-to-face Wednesday at the final press conference before their PPV showdown this Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Here’s what the fighters had to say…
Keith Thurman: “Manny isn’t going to do anything. With the little ‘T-Rex’ arms. He’s about to get beat up. I get to punch a Senator in the face and he’s going to feel it. If he’s upset about it, he can do something about it Saturday night. It’s called swing, swing, swing baby.
Manny Pacquiao: “I’m just always smiling no matter what Keith says. It’s easy to say things, but it’s not easy to do it in the ring. I’ve been in this sport longer than Keith Thurman, so my experience will be the difference.
“For me nothing is personal. I have to do my job and there is nothing personal with him. Our job is to fight and he has to prove something, and I have to prove something. That’s why I’m so motivated for this fight and this training camp. It’s also my first time fighting on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View, so I’m excited to fight on Saturday.
“I’m just always smiling no matter what Keith says. It’s easy to say things, but it’s not easy to do it in the ring. I’ve been in this sport longer than Keith Thurman, so my experience will be the difference.
“This is going to be an exciting fight and a once-in-a-lifetime fight. Like he has said, there is going to be a lot of action in the ring. I respect my opponent because we both believe we can give a good fight to the fans. That’s our first concern. The fans and the enjoyment of the fans.
“That’s Thurman’s style to talk a lot. Like I said, it gives me more motivation to focus, and it has helped me a lot leading up to this fight.
“I’m not predicting a knockout for this fight, but we did our best in this training camp. I’m focused and motivated, so we’ll see. I’ll do my best to make the fans happy.
“My feeling right now is happiness and excitement to prove that at the age of 40, I can still show my best.
“Boxing is my passion. I love to play basketball, but you are a team, you don’t know which people are shooting, you or your teammates. Boxing is you alone. When people are cheering for you, it is for you.
“We did our best in training and I believe we are physically ready, as well as spiritually ready. I expect a good fight so tune-in Saturday. The way Thurman spoke today, I hope he will live up to it on Saturday.”
“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 and a progression my whole career toward this moment on Saturday night.
“Manny isn’t going to do anything. With the little ‘T-Rex’ arms. He’s about to get beat up. I get to punch a Senator in the face and he’s going to feel it. If he’s upset about it, he can do something about it Saturday night. It’s called swing, swing, swing baby.
“I’m a winner in life, and to bet on myself to win in the opening rounds, it makes me do what I said earlier, which is swing, swing, swing. You’ve got to swing to hit a home run. You can’t just sit there and pump fake all day.
“It’s an honor to be here at MGM Grand. I’m truly looking forward to this fight. We’ve had a terrific, terrific training camp.
“I say I’m going to put him to sleep because I’ve got power. I want to remind the world of something. Something very simple: I’m Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman. I have the name for a reason. Not a short season.
“I feel like I’ve made boxing history. When I beat Danny Garcia, we were two undefeated welterweight champions. In boxing history, there haven’t been many times when WBA and the WBC was unified with two undefeated welterweights. But, I don’t think it’s enough to really solidify a legacy. So, I do need the victory to further my own personal legacy come Saturday night.
“Do you understand people fight in the street for no money? I’m living a dream to be on this stage, to be on this platform, to have this camera, this camera, that camera, all in front of me.
“This really is the outcome of an individual living out their dream. It all comes together on Saturday night.
“I’ve been saying it over and over again, don’t be surprised if Manny Pacquiao goes night-night.”