Pacman Thurman in BH

Photo by Sean Michael Ham / Mayweather Promotions

Keith Thurman Ready to Retire Manny Pacquiao



By Lauren Rodriguez


BEVERLY HILLS-The weather wavered on Wednesday afternoon surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel that hosted the Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman press conference. The lobby was bustling with media, guests and a large crowd of Pacquiao fans and family, as the queue for the conference extended out toward the entrance doors.


Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO’s) is one of the most respected and accomplished boxers of his generation, an 8 division world champion and the only one of his stature who has yet to retire.


Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 KO’s), 30- year old welterweight and 29 times undefeated is confident that he will be taking over the boxing world, by retiring 40 year old world welterweight champion Pacquiao. Thurman believes he will win and begin a new era of boxing at the July 20th fight card that takes place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The TGB Promotions event will also be shown on FOX pay-per-view.


The press conference regarding the two fighters was one of condescending respect and sly remarks regarding age, as 8-time champion Manny Pacquiao and long-time Pacquiao -fan, Keith Thurman traded words of confidence about their own boxing strengths.


Thurman, who is undefeated with 29 wins to his name and 22 knockouts, stated,


“As a Pacquiao fan, this is one of the most exciting fights.”


While the fighter admitted his respect and admiration for the 8-time champion, he did not hide the fact that he is confident and determined to retire his competitor.


“I’m the youngest, strongest, fastest and hungriest to be in the ring with Pacquiao … He’s not going to be able to surpass my skills, my talent and everything I’ve got coming for him… I believe we’re in a new generation. Manny Pacquiao is done. Floyd Mayweather is done and Manny is just one year younger, that means he shouldn’t last more than one year after Floyd and we’re at that pinnacle right now.”


When asked if he had any thoughts on Thurman’s lighthearted taunts, Pacquiao stated,


“It’s easy to say something before the fight, but when we get to the ring it’s going to change”.


Out of all the fighters, it was a wonder why Pacquiao chose Keith Thurman as his opponent instead of another fighter and whether or not Thurman’s most recent fight was a factor.


“I didn’t see his last fight, I picked him because I believe we can create more action, he’s aggressive, he can fight, he’s undefeated… Before the fight with Broner, he said he [Broner] wanted to fight toe to toe with me, he was aggressive, but in the ring it changed, he was moving around the ring…when Thurman said he wants to fight toe to toe with me, I believe that because he’s an aggressive fighter.”


The 40-year old acknowledged, that at his age nothing has changed from the 30- year old Pacquiao to now, stating that he is still motivated, the desire is 100% there and that he loves to work and train hard.


“I’ve been boxing since I was 11 years old. I’ve been boxing for 29 years in my career. I turned pro 1995, that’s 24 years of professional experience, so that experience itself is very effective.”


In regards to his training, Pacquiao said he has already started his training in the Philippines and will come back to the Wildcard Boxing Gym and train one month prior to the fight.



Caleb Plant v. Mike Lee


IBF super middleweight titlist Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (18-0, 10 KO’s) will be defending his title for the first time against Mike Lee (21-0, 11 KO’S). The two undefeated fighters will go toe to toe for the IBF super middleweight title in the same ring as Pacquiao and Thurman on July 20th..


The two fighters, who differ in almost every way, have no respect or understanding for each other and their personal battles.


“He has not gone through the necessary things that it would take to instill at the proper level. All the motivational videos that he watches, the manifestation videos and books that he reads… I am the very essence and being of that, I am pinnacle of all those things that he’s studying,” said Plant.


The 26- year old Tennessean boxer, fights for his late mother and daughter. The IBF middleweight titlist noted that the struggles throughout his life and the “chaotic” relationship between his mother and father play a role in how he fights.


“I’ve been dealing with unspeakable things my whole life… I can’t count all the people who told me it wouldn’t happen because of my ethnicity and where I’m from.”


Lee, a 31-year old Chicago native, graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in finances in 2009. The Chicagoan went undefeated in his amateur career and made his pro debut in 2010. In 2012, Lee was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease by the name of ankylosing spondylitis.


“When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease I was told I could never fight again and here I am…I spent two years in and out of the hospital. Just getting back and pushing through the pain, I proved to myself, not just the doctors.”


The two undefeated fighters clash on July 20th at MGM grand and are not focusing on any future fights until after.


“Mike Lee is getting knocked out. Right now, my eyes are focused on Mike. I don’t care about any other fighter.”