Manny Pacquiao faces Keith Thurman for WBA title in Las Vegas
Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman at the press conference in New York announcing their FOX PPV bout | Pic: Facebook / MannyPacquiao

Manny Pacquiao faces Keith Thurman on July 21 (AEDT). The pair headlines the FOX pay-per-view fight card taking place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The contest is for WBA (Super) Welterweight title currently held by the latter. Meanwhile, “Pacman”, who over the course of his career earned titles in eight different divisions, is WBA (Regular) champion in the same weight class.

Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO) is coming off a unanimous decision win against Adrien Broner scored early this year also at MGM Grand. The contest was his first successful WBA (Regular) Welterweight title defense, which he earned by TKO in the seventh round against Lucas Matthysse last July. Before that famed Filipino suffered a unanimous decision defeat against Jeff Horn, losing WBO Welterweight strap. Nevertheless the resume of 40-year-old boxer includes the victories against some of the best in business including Shane Mosley, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, among others.

“I have been in boxing for two decades and I am never scared or intimidated with my opponent, and I am so excited for this fight,” Pacquiao said at the press conference in New York on Wednesday (AEDT). “Keith Thurman is the kind of fighter you can respect. He is undefeated and this gives me more encouragement, motivation to work hard – like I did before, in my previous fights with big names in boxing.”

“I will make sure I am in 100% condition and ready for the fight, and let’s see who is tougher in the ring on July 20 (July 21 AEDT). It is going to be exciting and I like it. I like it I am the underdog for this fight, this is fun, this is what I want.”

Keith Thurman (29-0, 1 NC, 22 KO) was also last seen in action in January. In his previous bout he took a majority decision against Josesito Lopez and retained his WBA (Super) Welterweight title. Before that he defeated Danny Garcia by split decision, making his first successful title defense, as well as taking WBA Welterweight belt. The 30-year-old American fighter also held WBA Interim and WBO Intercontinental welterweight straps.

Thurman said that on the fight day “he [Manny Pacquiao] will disappear”.

“He belongs as a senator in the Philippines. What I am doing to Manny Pacquiao is what he did to Oscar De La Hoya.”

“This is a big fight, bombs are being dropped. I waited 22 months to get back in the game. We have our ups and downs in this sport. Your boy Keith Thurman is back on the rise. You will want to be there, especially because this will be this man’s last fight.”

The Pacquiao vs. Thurman championship bout is scheduled for 12 rounds.