Manny Pacquiao, 40, faces PBC PPV Fight with Thurman Premier Boxing Champions in Las Vegas Title WBA Full Fight undercard preview. welterweight titlist Keith Thurman, who is a decade younger. Thurman, who hadn’t fought in nearly two years, survived his last fight against Josesito Lopez. The aging Pacquiao will be fighting for the second time this year. We asked veteran trainers to assess Pacquiao and Thurman then let the fighters respond to their own scouting reports.
He’s had a lifetime of success as a boxing trainer. He’s guided the career, start to finish, of Hall of Famer Winky Wright. He’s built world champions and taught countless numbers of hopeless pugs how to better defend themselves.
TRAINER ON PACQUIAO Pacquiao will underestimate Thurman’s punching power. Thurman is being judged by his last fight against Josesito Lopez [a 12-round majority decision for Thurman on Jan. 26]. You can’t do that. He had been out of the ring for more than a year.
He’s been a star, though he’s never sought attention. In back-to-back years, he was chosen as Trainer of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America, largely for his work with Wright and former world champion Jeff Lacy.
PACQUIAO I’ve been over his last fight; I’ve been over the fight he had before that. I’m sure he trains hard and is prepared, but I’m different from his previous opponents . I respect his power, but I can handle it.
He’s always been an easy-going, affable sort of guy, willing to share insights into the sport that has done so much for him.
Dan Birmingham, now pushing 70, suddenly seems a lot like one of those sage curmudgeonly trainers you heard about from the ’30s and ’40s, when boxing was one of the three biggest sports in the country, along with baseball and Fight.
TRAINER As you get older, you’re not as fast or strong. And Keith is a hard guy to hit — you’re not just going to wind up and hit him.