Keith “One Time” Thurman will be looking to score a knockout victory on Saturday, July 20, when he defends the WBA welterweight crown against Manny Pacquaio.
Thurman vs. Pacquiao is the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) fought at the venue back in January, when he dominated four division world champion Adrien Broner over twelve rounds to secure a lopsided unanimous decision win.
Also in January, Thurman had some struggles to win a twelve round majority decision over Josesito Lopez. That bout ended a 22-month ring absence. Prior to that bout, Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), 30, picked up a split-decision win over two-division title winner Danny “Swift” Garcia in March 2017.
Thurman believes Pacquiao, now 40-years-old, is at the end of the road.
“Does Manny belong in the ring with a fighter in his prime? Is Keith Thurman still Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman after some vulnerability against Josesito Lopez?” said Thurman, rhetorically speaking.
“Of course, I’d like to get the knockout or TKO, but either way, you’re going to see a world class performance that has me standing alone on top of a division that has so many great fighters. I’m trying to be that great, devastating champion once again, and come July 20, I will prove that I am.”
And Thurman admits that his fight with Lopez was a tough hump to get over, after being away for two years.
“I was really nervous about making weight after walking around at 182 for the past two years,” said Thurman.
“But even though I got hit and hurt in the seventh round, I knew my boxing ability would get me through. It was a relief to make it through that fight feeling strong and healthy and I’ve taken those feelings right into this training camp.”