Manny Pacquiao Doesn't Plan to Fight Keith Thurman in July Despite Rumors

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2019

Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao listens to a question during a press conference shortly after arriving at the international airport in Manila on January 24, 2019, days after defeating US boxer Adrien Broner in Las Vegas. (Photo by TED ALJIBE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)
TED ALJIBE/Getty Images

The rumors that Manny Pacquiao could face Keith Thurman in a welterweight title fight on July 20 are just that for the time being—rumors. 

"July 13 or July 20 is possible. The Senator is still working out his political duties here before making a final decision but is looking to returning to the ring in July," Sean Gibbons, a Pacquiao advisor, told Dan Rafael of ESPN.com. "After the May 13 elections, the Senator will get in serious conversations to move to close a fight. Until he gets done with elections he is not committed to anything."

Pacquiao, a senator in the Philippines, is currently campaigning for other candidates.

He last fought in January, defeating Adrien Broner by unanimous decision. It was his first title defense of the WBA welterweight belt after defeating Lucas Matthysse in July. 

Since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015—a fight which was one of the most hyped matchups in boxing history—Pacquiao has gone 4-1, with his lone loss coming against Jeff Horn, costing him the WBO welterweight title.

As for Thurman, he's a perfect 29-0 in his professional boxing career, last defeating Josesito Lopez by majority decision in January. He would be an incredibly difficult opponent for Pacquiao, even if the 40-year-old remains one of the most talented boxers in the sport.

Thurman showed some rust against Lopez after nearly two years away from the ring because of injuries, though he pulled off the win. But Pacquiao would be a far greater test, combining speed, power and his signature unexpected attacking angles. 

Thurman shouldn't have any rust remaining should the pair meet in July. He'd arguably be the favorite. But as Pacquiao showed against Broner, he's still a threat. The fight may not be confirmed, or even fully in the works, but it would be an incredibly compelling bout.

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