WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman 29-0 (22) has promised to launch a sustained attack on the body of Manny Pacquaio 61-7-2 (39) when the pair meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 20.
Thurman, 30, was speaking about his upcoming title defence after an open workout at the St Pete Boxing Club in Florida on Wednesday.
“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… 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,” he said.
Thurman is 10 years Pacquaio’s junior but has fought just twice in the past three years after a run of injuries kept him on the sidelines.
In his last outing in January he struggled to a majority decision win over lightly-regarded Josesito Lopez in Brooklyn, New York.
Pacquiao has firmed into favourite for the fight, but Thurman rejects the bookmakers’ odds.
“The time is now. I can’t be the underdog because I am the undefeated champion of the world,” Thurman said.
“He’s the legend, but I have 10 years of youth on my side. However, we’ve seen world champions and legends do tremendous things at later dates. For example, Bernard Hopkins won the world title at 45 years old. Is Manny Pacquiao that kind of world champion? Keith Thurman will be the first one to find out.”
Pacquiao has strung together back-to-back wins over Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner since losing his WBO welterweight title to Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia two years ago.