Freddie Roach, longtime coach of famed Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, is steering the final stages of training camp for his fighter's July 20 pay-per-view bout against undefeated welterweight Keith Thurman.
Roach has been irked by Thurman's declared intentions to retire the southpaw but admits that antagonism from opponents often serves as fuel for his 40-year-old student. "The fire is there. I love it when fighters talk about Manny, because Manny takes it to heart, and he'll make him pay for it. At the press conference, Thurman said a few things about Manny, and Manny, he just let it go. So I had to open my mouth and say, 'We're gonna knock you out.' I thought I was gonna get a response back, but I didn't," said Roach.
"Pac Man" is meeting Thurman at 147 pounds and Roach predicts that not only will Pacquiao defeat "One Time," but also knock him out, a feat which will add a new feather to the cap of the 61-7 fighter. "I think we'll knock him out along the way. I think that Manny's really hungry for a knockout, I'm really hungry for a knockout. We've never knocked anyone out at 147, and I think that's something we need to do."
Pacquiao and Thurman will collide on Fox PPV from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and battle it out for the World Boxing Association super world welterweight title. Also on the card, a welterweight tilt between Yordenis Ugas and Omar Figueroa Jr., as well as a welterweight bout between Sergey Lipinets and John Molina Jr. Of additional note, heavyweight Efe Ajagba will put his undefeated record on the line against another unbeaten heavyweight in Ali Even Demirezen.
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