Fans aren’t impressed with the recently announced boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman. The fight is scheduled for July 20, 2019 and the pay-per-view will be handled by Fox Sports.
On paper this is an excellent match-up. The veteran Pacquiao sports a professional boxing record of 61-7-2 and was last in action January 19, 2019. He scored a unanimous decision win over Adrien Broner and was impressive throughout.
Pacquiao now has put together a two fight win streak but at 40-years-old, he may only have a few more high quality and profile fights left before retirement.
Keith Thurman is undefeated and sports a professional record of 29-0 with 1 no contest. He last fought Josesito Lopez on January 26, 2019 and scored the win via majority decision. This was his first fight in close to two years as he recovered from injury.
At only 30-years-old, Thurman should just be entering his prime.
It should be a classic match-up between one of the best boxers of all time in the twilight of his career facing an undefeated contender. The issue is not everyone is convinced Thurman is the same fighter he was before his hand and elbow injuries.
Thurman was tested by Lopez, who is a 36-8 fighter who some classify as a capable journeyman. The fact that Lopez was able to test Thurman, win rounds and prevent a unanimous decision win in Thurman’s return is quite telling.
Did Lopez fight above his level, was Thurman experiencing ring rust or has the injuries prevented him from being the dominant fighter many are promoting him as?
The fight that many boxing fans were expecting was a showdown between Pacquiao and the undefeated Errol Spence Jr., who has a professional record of 25-0. Spence’s last match was against the previously undefeated Mikey Garcia, who went up two weight classes to challenge the IFC Welterweight champion. Spence was dominant en route to unanimous decision win on March 16, 2019.
There is an argument to be made that the weight class difference between the two fighters played a factor in the results but there was little doubt on how good Errol was in that bout. He received praise from fans, experts and even his opponent.
It was reported that Pacquiao originally agreed to fight Spence Jr. but later turned down the fight, choosing Thurman instead. That has boxing fans wondering if Pacquiao is really looking to challenge himself or put himself in the best position to win his next match.
The main concern is a Pacquiao vs. Thurman fight is not strong enough to support a pay-per-view while a Pacquiao vs. Spence Jr. fight would have tons of fans willing to spend the money to make that event a success for both boxers regardless of the results.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight title takes place on July 20, 2019. The location is still to be announced.