Keith Thurman never got to fight Floyd Mayweather the way he wanted. But now that he's getting a chance to fight his other idol, Thurman is vowing to end Manny Pacquiao's career.
"Years ago I wanted Floyd Mayweather, I wanted Manny Pacquiao. ... Floyd is gone, Pacquiao is here—come July 20, he will disappear," Thurman said at a press conference Tuesday. He added: "He is a legend; he will always be remembered in the sport. But I'm going to do to Manny Pacquiao what he did to Oscar De La Hoya. ... Oscar De La Hoya never fought again."
Thurman, 30, holds a 29-0 (1) record coming into his July 20 bout with Pacquiao. He is coming off a majority-decision win over Josesito Lopez in January. It was his first bout in nearly two years after he suffered an elbow injury that required surgery.
"I've never been scared of a challenge," Pacquiao said in response, via Boxing Insider.com. "I'm so excited for this fight against an undefeated champion. He's the kind of fighter that you can't underestimate. His record and success gives me more motivation to work hard."
Pacquaio, 40, is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over Adrien Broner in January. He's won four of his five fights since losing to Floyd Mayweather in 2015, with his only loss being a controversial decision against Jeff Horn.
"When he's on that mat and he's catching that night-night on the 20th, it's really gonna mean something. And on the 21st, I guarantee he's not gonna want to see a rematch even though it's in the contract. I don't think this boy's gonna want to see it after I finish him off. ... This most likely will be Manny Pacquiao's last fight. ... In the welterweight division, the king was Floyd Mayweather. He is gone. The legend Pacquiao, he is here. He will be here July 20, but come the 21st, he is gone."
There was talk that Pacquiao might retire after the fight against Broner because of an eye injury. He has walked away from the sport before, most notably before returning to fight Timothy Bradley for a third time in 2016.