Pacquiao's 'last fight': Unbeaten Thurman promises to send Pacman, 40, into retirement in July 20 title bout

Sports | 23 May 2019

Keith Thurman kept calling Manny Pacquiao a boxing legend. Then the undefeated welterweight champion kept promising to end the ring career of the senator from the Philippines.

That could happen, as for once, Pacquiao is the underdog in the July 20 fight in Las Vegas for the WBA title. Or Pacquiao, holder of titles in eight weight classes during 24 years in the sport, could continue his Hall of Fame career at age 40 with another impressive win.

"I have been in boxing for two decades and I am never scared or intimidated by my opponent," Pacquiao said at a news conference announcing the fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. "Keith Thurman is the kind of fighter you can respect. He is undefeated and this gives me more encouragement, motivation to work hard. I will make sure I am in 100 percent condition and ready for the fight ... I like it I am the underdog for this fight. This is fun, this is what I want."

It's Thurman's his first pay-per-view fight despite being 29-0 with 22 knockouts. It's also an opportunity to prove that the rustiness he showed in a January decision over Joselito Lopez is gone after Thurman fought only three times in three years, in part due to injuries. And yes, it's a chance to end Pacquiao's career.

"Come July 20, he will disappear," Thurman said. "What I am doing to Manny Pacquiao is what he did to Oscar De La Hoya."

That would be the 2008 manhandling that sent De La Hoya into retirement and established Pacquiao as a global force.

"This is a big fight, bombs are being dropped," the 29-year-old Thurman added. "This will be this man's last fight."

Pacquiao, with 61 wins from 70 fights, lost to Australian Jeff Horn in 2017, but has rebounded with victories over Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner.

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