WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman wants to end his next defense in brutal fashion.
Thurman is on a mission to end the career of eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who holds the WBA’s secondary title at the weight.
And he will get the opportunity to reach that goal on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) has not scored a knockout victory in several years, but wants to make Pacquiao his next KO victim.
Pacquiao himself had finally scored a stoppage victory last year, when he battered Lucas Matthysse inside the distance. It was Pacquiao’s first knockout win since late 2009, when he put away Miguel Cotto in the twelfth round.
Pacquiao, 40-years-old, could see his career potentially end if Thurman comes away with a win – especially if that win comes inside the distance.
Thurman does not believe Pacquiao is the same boxer who dominated the competition for several years. And he also doesn’t believe Pacquiao is capable of hanging with a real welterweight. Pacquiao has been at welterweight since 2008 and has fought several of the top names – but very few were in their prime or or legit welterweights themselves.
“You are not gonna want to miss this fight, especially because it’s about to be this man’s last fight. My prediction is I’m going for the knockout. I wanna hit him big, I wanna hit him hard,” Thurman said.
“He’s a smaller guy. Can he really take the power? If he can take the power, then we’re gonna do what we’ve always done. Stick, move, and show him that he can’t touch me when I’m in my groove. I’ve never seen a fighter in the ring that small with that kinda hand speed. He is a tremendous fighter. There can be challenges throughout the fight. But if you know anything about Keith Thurman, you put a challenge in front of me, and I overcome.”