Thurman Opens As Betting Favourite
Fans have known for some time the fight was a done deal, and yesterday the venue for Keith Thurman’s WBA welterweight title defence against superstar Manny Pacquiao was confirmed: the two will clash at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The scene of a number of big Pacquiao nights, The MGM was once a veritable second home for Manny.
Thurman, excited about the fight, says we fans should be excited too. “Get your tickets and your popcorn,” Thurman said. According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the unbeaten Thurman has opened as the betting favourite to win the fight, at a current minus-135 at the Westgate sportsbook. Pacquiao told media members in Manila how he is pleased he is the underdog, that this gives him added incentive to win.
And, as has been said before, this one is a good fight, an interesting fight, and arguably a 50/50 fight in the opinion of many fans. Before his less than impressive return fight, against Josesito Lopez, against whom he struggled and was hurt more than once, Thurman would have been looked at as a far bigger favourite to beat the 40 year old Pacquiao. But while Thurman laboured against Lopez, Pac Man shone against Lucas Matthysse and more recently Adrien Broner.
Just who has the most left: Pac Man or “One Time?” This is not a question that would have been asked just one fight ago in the career of the unbeaten Thurman, but those injuries coupled with all that time out of action might just have taken far more out of the WBA champ than at first thought. Or perhaps Thurman simply had a bad night, a rusty night, against the seriously tough and durable Lopez.
Pacquiao, despite not being able to register too many KO’s or stoppages these days (just one since 2009) can still pump out plenty of punches through all 12 rounds and he is still very fast on his feet. And the thinking is, if Lopez was able to tag Thurman, then Pacquiao will also be able to do the job. And even at this veteran stage in his long career, Pac Man hits quite hard; certainly harder than Lopez cracks.
It would be one big win for Pacquiao, a man who has already accomplished so much but still wants more. While if Thurman can get the win, his own stock will rise again. Whoever wins on July 20th, will we see a KO, or a distance fight?