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Pacquiao v Thurman (Volume V): May Day

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Crossed over and shitted on by Bone Collector, ring legend Floyd Mayweather stared at an imaginary referee for a few seconds as if to survey a flash knockdown. The kind where pride gets knocked on the ass and the ego asks for more. After fixing his broken billion dollar ankles and rising off of a Power 106 50K Celebrity Charity Game basketball canvas, a very marinated and mature “Pretty Boy Floyd” then more or less sneered at fans throughout an MVP performance, while wearing a smile flossed with $$$.

He just had to morph into “Money”, to prove that it, and him, are still beating the shit out of playground legends, current WBA welterweight champions he’s beaten or those fighting his “leftovers”. To certainly prove to a certain politician — loved and revered by an entire archipelago, that “You’re not better than me in this sport or ours. Right?” So masterful is this persona, calcified within The Man who still imitates “Pretty Boy Floyd”, that all three of them understand something: It may make him a villain in certain circles but– but none of them give a fuck. For Floyd Mayweather, never mastered and that matters, 40’s the new “30 Something” by Jay-Z playing in his head.

I’m so hot still

These young boys is like fire drills

False alarms 

The next Don (nah)

He ain’t got it

On to the next one

🥈🥉

I’m on the line Thursday for a Media Day chat with Senator Manny Pacquiao, “40 Something”, and get right to the point. 

“So Manny, a few months ago, you were confronted by Errol Spence Jr and we know he’s “The Truth”. But then came Keith Thurman and he’s never lied to any of us “One-Time”. He saw the Jeff Horn fight, knows he’s 10 years younger and says he’s coming directly at you from the opening bell. If he does that, is he getting knocked out?” Manny, licking his chops over the wireless networks, says he’ll take it if it comes, and agreed with my take in [Vol.IV[ of this series that he’ll be dealing with an interracial version of Ricky Hatton with a ponytail on Saturday night, July 20 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on FOX PPV by Al Haymon and Premiere Boxing Champions.

On Wednesday, I was on hand at St. Pete Boxing Club in Florida as lead trainer Dan Birmingham watched his fighter pose with friends while holding up an authentic “Game Over” Pac-Man t-shirt. He all but co-signed the proclamation in red ink, but legendary trainer Freddie Roach wasn’t buying it. “Yeah ok… This is “One-Time” against “All-Time”. That means “Run-Time” to me. We’ll see,” sprayed Roach, not shy about telling anyone who’ll listen that Thurman is NOT that good. Fred Sternburg jokes that I’ll be called upon to testify about Team Thurman’s declaration of war and I’ll place both hands on the Bible. I’m thinking there’s a good chance that someone’s gonna get ‘crucified’ before screaming “May Day! May Day!” from the ring’s witness stand. I’m having thoughts of the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles about 3000 miles away, where NYF’s underground observer of the fistic arts Abraham Gonzalez, who provided the theme of a master facing an apprentice, offers a contrast of what I’m seeing from Thurman.

“I headed over to see if Pacquiao looks and feels the age that he is or if he still has enough in the tank to perform at a high level. With about 100 media members crammed in the Wild Card Gym, the place is buzzing — even at this stage of his career. Senator Pacquiao arrives around 2:30ish and quickly lets the media know to get their questions ready, like a boss, as he goes around the ring to field those first. This goes on for a good hour. Manny, still coachable and Freddie’s pupil, carefully goes through drills and reviews the lessons. One thing that jumps out is the looseness; that ol’ familiar bounce in his step with a smile of supreme confidence. This wasn’t the flat footed Manny that fought Jeff Horn in Australia going through the motions. This was vintage Pacquiao and Roach, with a certain level of comfort. It gave you the impression that they have a perfect recipe cooked up and will serve a dish cold for just “One Time” next Saturday. Manny was strategically placing his right foot around Freddie’s lead foot to setup the right hook to the body, then quickly adjusting to throw the straight left to the chest. Thurman hasn’t necessarily reacted well in the past to those body shots. Now you would think the focus would be on the strong hand punch to the body like Collazo did, but I believe the thought is maybe that right hand from Thurman is dangerous enough, and Manny’s reflexes have slowed just enough, to where if he tries it, it’s more risk than reward. Pacquiao is going to try his best to have Thurman at the just right distance, and if successful, this can lead to a late stoppage in what looks to be a great fight!”

AG

And from my view in St. Petersburg, Florida, the veteran US Marine may be right in the combat he’s foreseen. It’s been four years since round five against Collazo caused fear, but now it seems clear that this may reappear. Thurman labeled Mayweather “The Duck” then — who fought his mandatory in Andre Berto as a September 2015 swan song instead of him, just as he vows to nail Pacquiao to “The Cross” now.

He’s playing with legends, which is the same thing as playing with fire. In Pacquiao, he’s facing violent man of peace, a man with an entire nation behind him on a household name basis with world leaders. He effects the fucking Dow Jones on Wall Street. Throw in an innate pride and a supernatural work ethic and the footage won’t lie. The Fight Chronicles David Yi produced a video which to the eye, showed a glaring disparity between the pure speed, power and raw precision of even this Pacquiao, in contrast to the laborious grit and seismic will of Thurman.

All told, I think the right jab of Pacquiao will be a very big punch. He’ll use that to really time Thurman coming in and get to his spots, because like Chris Algieri– Thurman doesn’t like to clinch and has the bravery of Ricky Hatton. He relies more on athleticism than nuanced technique.

It’s funny he mentioned it at the opening presser because, I see him getting Oscar De La Hoya’d before he gets Ricky Hatton’d by a man who won’t rest until he gets another May Day.

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About John Gatling

Senior correspondent for NY Fights and author of upcoming book, "The Fist Club." Conscious indie recording artist "T@z" and humanist advocate for the Green Party.

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