Keith Thurman will be looking to break Manny Pacquiao down, round by round.
Thurman, who holds the WBA welterweight title, will defend his belt against Pacquiao, an eight division champion, on July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“I bet none of Pacquiao’s sparring partners were going at his body. Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is going to touch the body. I want to know how he reacts,” Thurman said.
Thurman does not expect the 40-year-old veteran to last the full twelve round distance.
In fact, Thurman is predicting a stoppage victory in less than six rounds.
“My prediction? Less than six rounds. I would love to be 30-0 with 23 knockouts. We’ve got 22 and we’ve held those 22 knockouts for a little too long. It’s time to get one more knockout,” Thurman said.
Back in January, Thurman snapped a two year layoff with a tougher than expected twelve round decision win over heavy underdog Josesito Lopez.
In that bout, Thurman was rocked bad and nearly stopped in the seventh round. He recovered and held off Lopez for the rest of the way.
“It’s really good for me to have this momentum back. This is the first time in four years that I have fought twice in one year and it’s not just twice in one year, it’s twice in almost six months. I’ve taken the momentum of getting the dust brushed off of us in January against Josesito Lopez. We hired two conditioning coaches in preparation for this fight, so that I can give the fight fans, along with myself, a tremendous performance next Saturday,” Thurman said.
“There’s always a question of will I get injured again. As a puncher you can always find ways to hurt your hands. Hands were not made to punch each other in the skull. We’re craftsmen. We’re tile workers, wood workers, mechanical workers. These hands were designed for something a little different, but luckily with different forms of therapy, we feel confident for this fight and pray that we stay healthy in the future so that we can keep giving the world tremendous fights.”