Eight division champion Manny Pacquiao is in full training mode for his upcoming showdown with Keith Thurman.
Pacquiao will challenge Thurman for the full WBC welterweight crown on July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The bout will headline a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View card.
”For this fight, I will work hard. I haven’t felt this motivated and excited since the Oscar De La Hoya fight. I feel like I’m back against the best fighters in the world,” Pacquiao told The Manila Times.
Since suffering a controversial twelve round decision loss to Jeff Horn in 2017, Pacquiao demolished Lucas Matthysse last year and then dominated Adrien Broner over twelve rounds back in January.
Pacquiao, who was training at the at the Elorde Boxing Gym inside the Mall of Asia in the Philippines.
The WBA’s “regular” champion says he is currently working on “hand speed and footwork.”
“We’re going to work on those things, to use against what I expect will be an aggressive offense from Thurman,” Pacquiao said.
Thurman has opened up as a slight favorite to win the contest. Pacquiao has not been the underdog since May of 2015, when he clashed with Floyd Mayweather – and prior to that the Filipino star was a underdog against De La Hoya in 2008.
“I like being the underdog for this fight because that gives me more focus in training. I’ve been careless and over-confident in some fights, but this time around it’s different. Keith Thurman is a good fighter and we’re going to make sure the fans are happy on July 20,” Pacquiao stressed.
“I’m the kind of fighter that I don’t talk too much. I do my talking in the ring. I can do a lot of things in that ring. As I have been saying, I feel I’m 29 years old like when I fought Oscar. (Thurman) can prove his words in the ring. I’m going to be a warrior on July 20 and show Keith Thurman what it’s like to be in the ring with me.”