Pacquiao vs. Thurman: Will Manny retire if he loses?
By Mark Eisner: Ring rusty Keith Thurman was full of retirement threats for Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday at their kickoff press conference in New York to hype their July 20 fight on Fox Sports PPV. Thurman says Pacquiao will be “disappear” from the sport after he beats him on July 20.
(Photo credit: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions)
Thurman is the favorite to win this fight, but he almost lost his last fight against Josesito Lopez last January. Thurman was the favorite for that one as well.
Will Pacquiao retire if he loses to Thurman?
If Pacquiao loses the fight, he’s not expected to retire from the sport. It’ll be difficult for Pacquiao to resist good payday fights he can still make against the likes of Amir Khan, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence Jr., Mikey Garcia, Terence Crawford and Floyd Mayweather. It would have to be a really bad loss for the 40-year-old Pacquiao for him to retire. Thurman might want Pacquiao to retire, because his name on his resume. Thurman could then brag for the remainder if his career that he ‘retired Pacquiao.’ It’s not likely to happen. Pacquiao will remain popular no matter how badly he losses to Thurman. If Pacquiao beats Thurman, then it’s all gravy. His next fight will be even bigger.
During Tuesday’s kickoff news conference, the 30-year-old Thurman was focusing a lot on Pacquiao being older than him, and how he was going to end his career. This is obviously Thurman’s method for bringing in more pay-per-view buys for the fight. On a positive note, at least Thurman isn’t going overboard and talking abut wanting a body on his record like we heard from WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder before his match last Saturday night against mandatory Dominic Breazeale.
Thurman has less mileage on him than Pacquiao, but his body has been breaking down nonetheless with different injuries popping up here there to sideline him. Thurman is technically 10 years younger than the 40-year-old Pacquiao, but his increasingly fragile body makes him roughly the same age. Thurman has only fought once in the last two years due to his body breaking down on him repeatedly with injuries.
“If you understand boxing history, you know that times change,”Thurman said. “I believe boxing is in a new era. Come July 20, Pacquiao will disappear. He’ll always be remembered in the sport, but I’m doing to Manny Pacquiao, what he did to Oscar De La Hoya.”
There’s a slight difference between the level that Pacquiao was fighting at in 2008 when he retired 34-year-old Oscar De La Hoya, and the level that Thurman is at now. He’s not fighting at the same high level that then 29-year-old Pacquiao was fighting at. Thurman is fighting nearer to the level De La Hoya was at in 2008. One Time has lost a lot from his game due to inactivity, injuries and age. Those are the Big Three for fighters. They age, injuries pop up, and then comes the inactivity. It’s a vicious cycle, and ends with a downward spiral that leads to retirement. Thurman appears to be heading in that directly prematurely. Sometimes 30 is the new 40 for some fighters. Thurman seems to be one of those types.
“I’m going to make a big statement. You are not going to want to miss this fight, especially because it’s about to be this man’s last fight,”Thurman said in a gloating manner while shooting stares at Pacquiao during Tuesday’s kickoff news conference. Thurman had a smirk on his face each time he talked of wanting to send Pacquiao into retirement.
It’s difficult to listen to Thurman and believe what he says anymore, because he’s no longer the top fighter in the welterweight division like he was briefly two years ago. Thurman’s injury problems and inactivity are just a couple of reasons why he’s not believable. A lot of boxing fans think Thurman no longer has his head in the game. He’s married, and he’s living the good life with the money he’s made in the sport. What was initially supposed to be a brief amount of time out of the ring for his elbow injury to be repaired in 2017 ended up being two years. Some fans think Thurman could have been back way sooner. All the potential that Thurman had back in 2017, he’s failed to live up to it. His last performance in January against Josesito Lopez showed a fighter that didn’t resemble the guy that he used to be. Thurman looked considerably slower, weaker and not the fighter that he was years ago. Thurman talked at the press conference about him hiring two conditioning coaches to whip him back in shape.
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