Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman has been in the rumor mill recently, and now it looks like we might be getting close to real news on that.
Mike Coppinger reports that the two are “closing in on a deal” for a FOX pay-per-view main event on July 20 in Las Vegas.
The 40-year-old Pacquiao is coming off of a Jan. 19 win on Showtime pay-per-view over Adrien Broner. He’s not the fighter or star that he once was, but he’s still the clear A-side of this matchup, too. Pacquiao-Broner sold 400K, compared to 325K for Wilder-Fury in December and 360K for Spence-Garcia in March. Manny remains a big name in boxing, and one of the top welterweights in the sport.
Thurman, 30, returned to action a week later, beating Josesito Lopez by majority decision in a FOX main event. That was Thurman’s first fight since March 2017, when he beat Danny Garcia. He went through various surgeries and injuries and whatnot before returning to the ring. He looked a little rusty that night, but still has his world title and is still a top name at 147.
This would be Thurman’s first pay-per-view headline fight, and it would be whatever number for Pacquiao, I’m not going to go back over his career and count them. Several. A lot. However you want to put it. But it would be Pacquiao’s first pay-per-view under the FOX banner, so that’s something.
Back in March, when Errol Spence Jr beat Mikey Garcia in the first pay-per-view event that FOX produced, Pacquiao was in attendance at AT&T Stadium in Texas, and was brought into the ring. The idea of Pacquiao-Spence was floated there, with Spence saying it would be an honor to fight Manny and Manny saying, “Yeah, why not?” when asked if he wanted to do it, but it didn’t seem to go over great, either.
Since then, the talk has changed to IBF titleholder Spence facing WBC titleholder Shawn Porter in a unification, and Pacquiao taking on Thurman.