Keith Thurman v Manny Pacquiao Preview5 min read
Manny Pacquiao headlines again in Las Vegas as the iconic Filipino takes on unbeaten American Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.
Thurman’s WBA super world welterweight title will be on the line with victory holding major significance in an elite division featuring champions such as Terence Crawford and Errol Spence.
Pacquiao in the twilight of career
Pacquiao, who has been lined up by Amir Khan for his next fight, is still going strong at the age of 40 although there is no doubt his days in the ring are starting to wind down.
Pac Man has a record of 61 wins, seven defeats and two draws from his professional career.
In his prime, Pacquiao was one of the most entertaining boxers in the world with his explosive style and rapid hand speed dismantling top class opponents.
His quartet of fights with Juan Manuel Marquez will go down as a classic rivalry, with an opening draw followed by two victories and defeat in the fourth and final bout in 2012.
There is no doubt Pacquiao is well past his peak and he was made to look ordinary in the points defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr in 2015 – a fight which took place too late for both boxers.
Pacquiao bounced back with victories, by way of decision, against Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas.
But he suffered a major blow two years ago after losing a controversial decision to Australian Jeff Horn in Brisbane.
A seventh round stoppage win over Lucas Matthysse earned the WBA welterweight title 12 months ago before a unanimous points win in Vegas against perennial disappointment Adrien Broner in January.
Unbeaten Thurman looking for major scalp
Thurman faces the most high-profile fight of his career but the Florida boxer has come through every test to date.
The 30-year-old has won all 29 professional bouts with 22 victories inside the distance.
Thurman defended his WBA welterweight title in New York with a notable points win over Shawn Porter in 2016.
The American added the WBC world title in 2017 after ending the unbeaten record of Danny Garcia with a split decision win in Brooklyn.
Thurman relinquished the WBC belt due to elbow surgery which kept him out of the ring until his return in January. His comeback fight, following a two-year absence, with a points win against Josesito Lopes.
Thurman v Pacquiao: The Verdict
The betting is exceptionally tight with Pacquaio installed as the slightest of favourites at 8/11. Thurman is 11/10 and it looks worth siding with the younger, unbeaten boxer.
There is ten years between them and this should give Thurman a significant edge particularly as the fight progresses into the closing rounds.
It is 2/7 the fight goes the distance and the smart money is on Thurman to win on the scorecards at 15/8.
Thurman is not renowned as a massive puncher and five of his last six fights have been decided by the judges.
Pacquiao is understandably not the dynamic fighter of the previous decade and eight of his last nine fights have gone the distance.
The older fighter is 6/4 for a points victory but Thurman appeals at a bigger price with his younger legs and ring craft likely to tip the contest in his favour.
Tip: Thurman to win by decision or technical decision at