The fight is a few days away, when WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman takes part in the biggest bout of his pro career.
On Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Thurman will defend his title against eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
The ring return is only the second fight for Thurman since his snapped a two year layoff back in January, with a lackluster twelve round majority decision win over challenger Josesito Lopez.
Thurman believes the Filipino star has very little left in the tank – and he wants to avoid the scenario of going the distance with a fighter 10 years his senior. He wants to make a statement by closing the show inside the distance.
“He will not be able to survive my skills and all my talent. What I want most is to knock out Manny Pacquiao, not win by decision in twelve rounds. I’m at a completely new level, I’m at the top of this generation,” Thurman said.
Thurman plans to dominate the contest – with Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, predicting a knockout victory around the ninth round.
“I don’t see Pacquiao winning a round. I’m going to hit him early, remind him of that [knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez], and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be very cautious. So after I give him a reminder with my punches, we’ll see how he ends up fighting in this bout.”
Roach actually likes the fact that Thurman is doing so much trash talking before the fight. And Roach is not worried if Thurman connects with a good shot.
“Manny is upset. It’s good when he doesn’t like his opponents because he fights better. When Pacquiao is stung by an opponent, his attack becomes more relentless in the ring,” Roach said.