By Ponciano "John" Melo Jr.
The reigning World Boxing Association Welterweight World Champion Keith "One Time" Thurman remained confident on his bout against the 40-year-old Manny "PacMan" Pacquiao, as he took another shot at the Filipino boxer by boasting his skill to knock the eight-division champion in the early stages of the fight.
In response to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach remarks that he will make "a huge score" betting on the Filipino fighter, the undefeated Thurman raised $10,000 per round bet on himself claiming to knock Pacquiao in two rounds.
"About 10K a round, that's motivation!" Thurman told TMZ Sports. "I can't go three minutes going 'tap-tap-tap' when I got 10K on the round. I gotta swing a few times, you gotta try to hit a home run."
In the past weeks, the much younger Thurman promised to end the legendary career of PacMan and "crucify" the champion in their upcoming fight.
With the comment left a bad taste to Pacquiao's camp, Roach threw shade at Thurman's past performances as he visibly slowed down in his last fight against Josesito Lopez.
The 30-year-old champion continued confidence and arrogance, as the others may see it, has served motivation for Pacquiao.
The fighting Senator is all out in his training, scheduled for six weeks in California, all in preparation for his bout with undefeated American pugilist. on July 20, 2019.
Pacquiao entourage swore to bring PacMan in tip-top shape as it moved closer to the much-awaited showdown.
Roach was happy to take Thurman's latest comment as fuel to Pacquiao's fire.
"I like that, because he does get angry," Roach said in an interview with ABS-CBN, "I do like when Manny doesn't like his opponent because he does fight better."
Regarding Thurman's wager, Pacquiao remained unfazed by the American boxer and believed his foe is just throwing his money away.
With fight number 71 only less than a month away, Pacquiao, cool despite the constant trash talk of his younger foe, is deadlocked in the last stretch of his training camp led by legendary coach Freddie Roach, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, and best friend trainer Buboy Fernandez.
While the bookmakers put the unbeaten Thurman (29-0-0, 22 KOs) slightly ahead Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) the odds slowly moving towards the Pinoy boxing legend as the fight inch closer day-by-day.
This the first time since 2015 that Pacquiao is an underdog to a fight, the last time was against the American superstar Floyd Mayweather.
Ponciano Melo writes his first contributing article to Manila Standard Digital about Manny Pacquiao's upcoming fight against Keith Thurman. Melo is a freelance sports writer based in California, USA and has covered the NBA Finals, Boxing matches, and other sporting events in the United States.
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