Underdog Manny Pacquiao hits the USA

Under the watchful eyes of Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) kicked off his U.S. training camp with eight rounds of sparring. Not bad for the jet lagged fighter who arrived at LAX after a 19-hour flight on Saturday night to a throng of media and fans. After five weeks of training in the Philippines, Manny is back at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., preparing for his third world championship fight in the past 12 months.

Manny has begun the most intense part of his training and conditioning for his PPV battle against undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) on July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And for the first time in many years, Manny, 40, and ten years Thurman’s senior, has been installed as an underdog by major sports & race books around the world.

“I haven’t made a bet in a long time, but the oddsmakers have brought me back. I’m going to make a huge score betting on Manny in this fight,” said Roach. “Manny loves beating undefeated fighters, especially the younger ones. Heck, at this stage of the game, everyone Manny faces is younger. But that makes it fun for Manny. And when Manny is having fun, his opponents had better watch out. I was very pleased with Manny’s first day at Wild Card. Buboy and Justin [Fortune] have him in great condition for the rigors of this part of training camp. We were scheduled for six rounds of sparring and Manny insisted on going eight with two sparing partners. He’s running the Hollywood Hills like a deer. Nobody has the work ethic and conditioning like Manny. I can already see we are going to have to hold him back throughout camp.

“This is a great matchup. Thurman has youth and size. I’m sure he will come into the ring with 160 pounds behind his big right hand. Manny will be under 150,” Roach continued. “But we will have speed and movement. Winning this fight will come down to taking chances. Manny proved in his last two fights, against Matthysse and Broner, that he has his killer instinct back. Thurman better be prepared to shoot the works.”

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  • May look good for his age, but not in his prime any more. Roach knows this, and is probably not really betting his own money.

  • Forty is not old when you are highly skilled and fighting another opponent who is highly skilled also. However, when you are fighting a highly skilled fighter who is younger and bigger, than age could become a problem unless the older fighter is blessed with incredible stamina.

  • Thurman just has to put the bull on Pacquiao and Manny will end up looking up at the referee asking what happened.

    • John Jarratt, you’re insane. Keith is NOT stopping manny. If anything, Pacquiao will stop Keith.

  • I have always been a Pacman fan, but I think this is the first time he’s been biting off more than he can chew.

    It is unfortunate, that he got robbed a few times in his career and it would be equally unfortunate if he would have to retire with a loss. At the same time, I can’t conceive of him winning this fight. Thurman is at his prime and Manny is way beyond his prime.

    I still hope for the upset, but I think that its time for Manny to retire, regardless the outcome.

  • Thurman has a lot of inactivity over the years, 11 and 1/2 months off between Collazo and Porter, 8 months off between Porter and Garcia. And he didn’t look good in his last comeback fight. He also had almost 8 months off between Julio Diaz and Leonard Bundu in 2014. Thurman has a long reign, but with over 2 years of layoffs between April 2014 and March 2017, you start to wonder. He had 70 rounds since April 2014. Thurman may win a decision, but he has the power to hurt someone. Most of the KOs were seen before 2014. Collazo and Julio Diaz were both 34 when Thurman stopped them, and Collazo was stopped on cuts, and Collazo’s mom wanted him to retire. When Collazo couldn’t finish Thurman after hurting him to the body, he didn’t want to try to go 12 why a bad cut.

  • It’s a fact the Thurman we saw fighting Josesito Lopez won’t be the same that will step on the ring to face Pacquiao. I am envisioning a highly motivated Keith, sharp, well prepared with no more rust due to inactivity dominating and maybe stopping Pacquiao in a good fight

  • Thurman is incredibly overrated and I don’t think he has the skills or the power to hurt Manny, unless he catches Manny with a surprise shot. Since Many has sustain a concussion before in getting knocked out by Marquez, the next one will be a bit easier. Having said that, I don’t think Thurman has the skills to set that kind of shot up. Biggest question is Manny’s age, which is relevant. Against Broner, I saw a lot of decline. His defense is good, but he still has a tendency to lunge in occasionally. Against Thurman, I don’t see him doing this unless he finds out that Thurman can’t hurt him. Manny’s boxing skills are vastly superior and he has greater power, enough to keep Thurman honest. I see Manny winning a close match here by decision, maybe split.

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