Thurman warns Spence: Pacquiao loves challenge

Published July 16, 2021, 12:27 AM

by Carlo Anolin

Keith Thurman is in favor of Errol Spence Jr. over Manny Pacquiao but he has nothing but praises to his former opponent.

In this file photo, Manny Pacquiao (right) and Keith Thurman exchange body blows during their super WBA welterweight title bout last July 2019. (Photo from Manny Pacquiao’s Facebook page)

During the recent PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) on FOX press conference, Thurman interrupted Pacquiao’s interview with reporters and exchanged pleasantries with the Filipino boxing legend.

READ: Pacquiao: Spence is one of the biggest challenges in my career

After shifting the attention from Pacquiao, boxing scribes were quick to ask who Thurman will pick and believes that it will be Spence.

The former super WBA welterweight champion, however, isn’t about to downplay Pacquiao, the eight-division world boxing champion who defeated him last July 2019 by split decision.

READ: Fortune says Pacquiao at 80 percent; sparring mate impressed

“I think it’s Spence man. We’re big here. [But] everything he (Pacquiao) does is a challenge. This man loves challenge. That’s what makes him one of the greatest fighters, you heard him constantly saying I want to make a great fight,” said Thurman, who was present in the press conference also as a host and commentator along with Shawn Porter.

Thurman said Pacquiao’s hunger for action is very evident from his previous fights, citing that the last time he saw the Filipino boxing legend a bit disappointed was against Adrien Broner despite winning via unanimous decision to retain the regular WBA welterweight title.

READ: Mamba Mentality: Pacquiao pays homage to Kobe Bryant in US training

And for Thurman, that only fueled the 42-year-old Pacquiao to defy age over and over again by challenging him two years ago and Spence this Aug. 21.

“No matter where he is in his life, this man (Pacquiao) loves the challenge. He’s a real warrior, a real fighter. He was raised in this, bred in this and he wants the best ”til the day he’s done,” said Thurman, who owns a 29-1 record with 22 knockouts.

READ: Buboy Fernandez: Expect a different Pacquiao

“He doesn’t want to be in the training camp to fight anybody. He wants to be in training camp to fight the best of the world and that’s very admirable,” added Thurman, shaking hands with Pacquiao afterward.

Thurman, just like the Filipino fighting senator, has not fought since their duel last July 2019.

READ: Freddie Roach amazed with Pacquiao’s power on Day 1 of US training

Pacquiao, for his part, holds a legendary record of 62-7-2 with 39 KOs while Spence, 31, is still unbeaten in 27 matches with 21 KOs.

Pacquiao and Spence will dispute the latter’s WBC and IBF welterweight titles as well as the vacant The Ring belt in Las Vegas, Nevada.

READ: Keith Thurman favors Spence over Pacquiao: It’s all about size, youth