Freddie Roach, who is the co-trainer for eight division champion Manny Pacquiao, is expecting a tough contest when his boxer takes on unbeaten WBA welterweight beltholder Keith Thurman on July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The bout is being carried by Fox Sports Pay-Per-View.
Pacquiao’s holds the WBA’s “regular” version of the welterweight crown.
Back in January, Pacquiao dominated four division champion Adrien Broner over twelve rounds of one-sided action.
Thurman recently snapped a two year layoff, when he won a tougher than expected decision over Josesito Lopez.
Thurman was expected to have an easy night’s work, but he was badly hurt during the fight and had some the troubles along the way.
Pacuqiao, now 40-years-old, is nearing the end of his pro career. And a loss to Thurman would certainly close the book on his latest run.
Roach has been studying some of Thurman’s recent fights and he believes the unbeaten champ is declining – but still has the tools to present a serious challenge.
“Thurman is a big, strong guy but his last two fights he hasn’t looked as good as he once was. But I won’t underestimate him and I’ll expect him [to] come with his best because he’s fighting one of the best. I’ve been watching all his best fights for weaknesses. We do have a tough fight in front of us. It’s a winnable fight but Pacquiao’s speed should be too much for him,” Roach told Sporting News.
“All Manny has to do is pretty much let his hands go a little bit more. I was very happy with him in his last fight, It was the most offensive I’ve seen him in a long, long time. It’s been a while since he’s fought like that, like back in the Ricky Hatton days.”