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Keith Thurman: “Fighting Manny Pacquiao is a dream come true”

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman 29-0 (22) says facing Manny Pacquiao 61-7-2 (39) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 20 is a dream come true.

“We’re ready. This is a blessing to be here and a dream come true. I started boxing at the age of seven. I worked hard to be a champion and I’ve always wanted to fight the greatest names in the sport,” Thurman said.

“Pacquiao wants a challenge and I’m very grateful to be sharing a ring with a legend. If you understand boxing history, you know that times change. I believe boxing is in a new era. Come July 20, Pacquiao will disappear. He’ll always be remembered in the sport, but I’m doing to Manny Pacquiao, what he did to Oscar De La Hoya.

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“This is a big fight. I’ve waited 22 months to get back in the game. We had our ups and downs, but Keith Thurman is back on the rise. I’m going to make a big statement.

“This training camp is going to start this Saturday. Once I get home, it’s grind time and on July 20, it’s going to be my time.

“July 20 is 23 years in the making. I’ve dedicated myself to this beautiful sport of boxing for so long and my first trainer Ben Getty told me that I had what it takes to be a great champion. I’m truly looking forward to having another chance to show it.

“We definitely had a stretch with a lack of activity. Not everyone knows who Keith Thurman is today. You could see that I wasn’t at my best in January. But on July 20, ‘One Time’ is back. I’m getting ready to have one of my best training camps for this fight.

“I had the knockdown in my last fight that was a reminder of what ‘One Time’ is all about. We brushed the dust off and we’re taking that momentum into this fight.

“I’m excited to be the guy who shows Manny Pacquiao where the exit is. He’s a legend who’s done great things. But I’ve never lost to a fighter who’s lost seven times. I have no intention of losing this fight and I don’t see him winning in any shape or form.

“Speed, power and overall ring IQ will be the difference. I’m one of the smartest fighters in the sport. I always find a way to win. I know Pacquiao comes in shape, but he’s going to fall short of that finish line.”

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