The topsy-turvy world of championship boxing has already brought about one monstrosity of an upset this year as Andy Ruiz Jr. stunned fans and pundits alike with his victory over Anthony Joshua just over a week ago.
The WBA super welterweight title will be on the like July 20th as 40 year old senator and current champ Manny Pacquiao gets set to take on an undefeated fighter 10 years his junior in Keith Thurman. Pacquiao found himself opening as a slight underdog in this fight at +150 but there is a reason the fan-favorite from the Philippines wanted this opponent.
“I chose Keith Thurman because he’s undefeated and I want to prove that at age 40 I can still beat a great fighter like Keith,” Pacquaio said at a press conference to formally announce the fight.
Pacquiao is, indeed, coming off a tremendous performance in his last title defense, a unanimous decision victory over Adrien Broner, a fight that saw the champion face very few moments of danger.
Meanwhile, Super champion Keith Thurman is coming off a November 2018 victory of his own and seems ecstatic just to be getting in the ring with someone as revered in the sport as Manny Pacquiao.
“Pacquiao wants a challenge, and I’m very grateful to be sharing a ring with a legend,” Thurman also said at the presser. “If you understand boxing history, you know that times change. I believe boxing is in a new era. Come July 20, Pacquiao will disappear. He’ll always be remembered in the sport, but I’m doing to Manny Pacquiao, what he did to Oscar De La Hoya.”
The MGM Grand will likely be jammed for this event on July 20th and currently the cheapest ticket is hovering right around $350 on Stubhub. With the recent fan interest in the heavyweight division and another dominating performance by middleweight GGG, perhaps the sport of boxing could be on the verge of flourishing once again.
“The state of boxing is really healthy.” Former light heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver recently stated in an interview with The Elite Sports Podcast. “It’s really an international sport, you’ve got guys like GGG giving it that international flare and (Antonio) jr. trying to make his imprint, it’s really healthy.”
Gennady Golovkin a.k.a “GGG” was asked if boxing icon Manny Pacquiao should be careful not to end up like Anthony Joshua in his next fight against his much younger opponent Keith Thurman.
Golovkin confirmed that Pacman should be very careful and in a friendly manner, advised the eight-division title holder that it takes only “one punch” to change not only a career but also a life. These recent comments from Golovkin strongly suggests that it is not unusual these days to see a champion or even a legend get knocked out by someone who is relatively unknown or a fighter not in their level.
Regardless, this is an altercation that will not disappoint fight fans in Las Vegas or on Fox pay-per-view on July 20th. Pacquiao being a slight underdog should fuel the crowd to unimaginable heights especially if the fight remains competitive throughout.