Pacquiao Vs Thurman [Vol.I]: The Path To Mayweather/Spence
Or it’s time to Pac, man.
Like an exclusive gala set for “One Night Only” featuring a legend approaching zenith on the marquee in twilight, authentic WBA welterweight champion Keith “One-Time” Thurman (28-0, 22KOs) will face the unofficial variety in Filipino icon and senator Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39KOs) on July 20 on FOX PPV.
Yahoo Sports! is reporting that the bout will take place in Las Vegas, with MGM Grand the most likely venue. This is absolutely the right match-up presented by Al Haymon and Premier Boxing Champions, as the announcement comes on the heels of Saturday night's riveting opus between new IBF/WBA super welterweight champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams and Jarrett “Swift” Hurd on FOX.
A genuine Fight of The Year contender in its own right, Pacquiao Vs Thurman has a chance to eclipse them all, given Pacquiao's age indifferent reckless abandon and Thurman's penchant for drama. Both of them are pirates of their own Caribbean, which should make this a treasure to watch.
The prospect of this fight was a major focal point for myself back in January, as it just made sense. Pacquiao and Thurman fought as headliners under the same promotional banner in successive weeks, which lead to the pondering “What Would Pacquiao V Thurman Look Like?” or an outright plea to just make the fight in “Star Wars [Vol.I]: The End of Money“. We know that if Josesito Lopez was able to send Thurman, 30, on a head-snapping adventure in the 7th round, this Pacquiao, 40, is capable of at least 60 seconds worth of potential mayhem in every round.
Whereas Adrien Broner was reluctant to exchange with the still fast and powerful all-time great, Keith Thurman is unlikely to give a fuck, and will throw caution completely to the wind.
Neither of them are inside fighters, which means there will be very little clinching involved with this fight. However, both are fundamentally flawed diamonds who prefer things in the rough, which for the winner should offer a smooth segue into a match-up with the winner of IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr and WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter. This is exactly why Pacquiao left Bob Arum and Top Rank, to give himself an opportunity to be at the epicenter of heights reached nearly a decade ago, not at the expense of WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, while keeping the possibility of a rematch with arch-nemesis Floyd Mayweather alive.
For Thurman, this fight with Pacquiao, from a promotional standpoint alone, should generate enough interest to become relevant again with the suits at ESPN. Maybe we'll even get to see a pontificating and highly philosophical Keith Thurman with Max Kellerman on Max on Boxing. That'd be interesting. A big win over Pacquiao even more so, as it would set the stage for PBC to throw that big Spence Vs Thurman unbeaten party they've been wanting for two years now (Spence is going to demolish Porter, tentatively set for late August or early September). Stay tuned, as NY Fights will definitely get an inside look at both camps in the weeks leading up to July 20.