WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman 29-0 (22) has clapped back at Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao 61-7-2 (39), saying he has been disrespected as the champion ahead of their clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 20.
“He’s fighting for my belt, and yet it’s as if the world has forgot, so I want to stab him a little bit, hit him where it hurts,” Thurman said to Fox Sports.
“If he doesn’t feel it, he’s going to feel it. When I said I’m going to crucify the man, they said, ‘ooh, ah.’ It’s almost as if they had a crown of thorns on them themselves.
“We all know Jesus Christ was resurrected not to walk this earth again. He was in spirit, he gave messages. He gives guidance. He is forever loved. Manny Pacquiao, when he retires, he will be forever loved.”
Thurman, 30, dropped journeyman Josesito Lopez in the second round before struggling to a majority decision victory in January in his first fight in almost two years after a series of injuries kept him on the sidelines.
The 40-year-old Pacquiao has fought three times in the same period, bouncing back from a disputed decision to Australia’s Jeff Horn to stop Argentinean and former world champion Lucas Matthysse and outpoint American Adrien Broner.
“This is my experience. More than 20 years in boxing,” said Pacquiao. “I experience all the hardest fights in life when I fight [Oscar] De La Hoya, [Miguel] Cotto, I fight [Erik Morales], [Juan Manuel] Marquez, [Ricky] Hatton and [Antonio] Margarito; much, much taller than me.
“Nobody will intimidate me.”