It’s an exciting week for boxing, as Al Haymon’s debut of Premier Boxing Champions nears. With boxing returning to primetime network television on Saturday, the fighters were out doing their part to promote themselves and the premier of “PBC on NBC”.
Sean Zittel of ThaBoxingVoice was able to catch up with Keith “One Time” Thurman and get to take a break from promoting his own huge fight with Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, to give his thoughts on the upcoming Mayweather-Pacquiao super fight.
“I lean towards Mayweather. He hasn’t shown us anything to doubt him. He is pound for pound the best.”
Thurman didn’t need to be pressed for his breakdown on how he sees the fight going. He went right into it.
“I expect Floyd to use his legs, use his agility, hopefully, it’s to his benefit to not stay on the ropes. If he is on the ropes that is going to be trouble, that will work in Manny Pacquiao’s favor.”
In a nice change of pace, he went on to talk more about Floyd’s offense than I have heard from any other fighter thus far.
“He’s gonna pop-shot [sic] with the jab to the head, the jab to the stomach like he likes, and he’s gonna mix up his power punches. The straight right hand, the right hook and the left hook all night. I don’t expect him to throw combinations, I expect him to pop-shot [sic] his way to victory.”
Keith Thurman isn’t expecting the wash that many have been predicting. He gives Pacquiao his due and respects what he brings to the ring. He may not think he will win, but he clearly knows that Pacquiao is more of a force than many seem to believe.
“I expect Manny Pacquiao to be Manny Pacquiao and bring a tremendous fight and to this day possibly be Floyd’s toughest competition.”
Keith Thurman gave one of the most thorough breakdowns of the Mayweather-Pacquiao super fight than I have heard so far. I am inclined to agree with him on much of what he said, but he may be overestimating Floyd’s interest in using his legs to stay off of the ropes. As his career has progressed, he has spent more and more time on the ropes. I wouldn’t even say it’s a sign of age, it just seems to be how he fights.
Have a look back at Floyd’s 2007 fight with Oscar De La Hoya. He was on the ropes early and often. He is really adept at making guys miss and wear themselves out when he has his back to the ropes. Yes, he sometimes gets caught but history shows that the benefit seems to have outweighed the risk.
Regardless of your feeling, on the whole “Floyd needs to stay off of the ropes” issue, Keith Thurman’s pick is set. He gives the edge to Floyd in what he expects to be his toughest fight.
Keith Thurman fights Robert Guerrero on March 7th, on the live debut of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC.