Pacquiao vs. Thurman: Early Fight Predictions, PPV Schedule and More

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2019

Manny Pacquiao, left, and Keith Thurman stand face to face during a news conference on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in New York. The two are scheduled to fight in a welterweight world championship boxing bout on Saturday, July 20, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Manny Pacquiao will fight Keith Thurman Jr. for the WBA welterweight championship in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The encounter is being billed as "Welterweight Supremacy," with Pacquiao holding the (regular) welterweight world title and Thurman the current (super) welterweight champion.

In one of the most anticipated bouts of 2019, the unbeaten Thurman will battle a living legend at the MGM Grand Arena.

                   

Date: Saturday, July 20

Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

Start Time 2 p.m. local, 5 p.m. ET, 10 p.m. BST

PPVFox PBC (U.S.), ITV Box Office (UK)

Prediction: Thurman wins by KO.

                     

Preview

With a full decade separating the ages of the two champions, time is catching up with Pac-Man. However, the eight-division champion continues to confound his doubters by remaining at the top of his sport.

The 40-year-old faces one of the most dangerous men in his weight class, and Thurman will believe he can beat the veteran. Thurman has been a classy operator for years, building up a formidable knockout rate of 73 per cent, but a win over Pac-Man would be a career-defining moment.

Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

Pacquiao is used to giving up height and reach, and once again, his opponent will hold the advantage in both. However, Thurman's two-inch reach advantage should be less of a problem than facing the power he can produce.

One Time can put a fighter's lights out in a second, and Pac-Man will have to keep moving to avoid a destructive blow.

Per PBC, Pacquiao predicted the fight will not go the distance:

As the younger man, Thurman, 30, should have more in the tank, but Pacquiao's natural fitness has seen him through testing challenges.

The icon's points win over Adrien Broner in January caught the attention of many fans, and to hand a defeat to one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world was a great achievement.

However, styles make fights, and Thurman is unlikely to concede the ground that Broner did in the unanimous decision. 

Time will tell if the 40-year-old can earn a 62nd win, but if Thurman lands with accuracy, it could be Pacquiao who collects the eighth loss of his mostly glittering career.

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