It may seem like a stretch, but Pacquiao realizes he’s 40, too.
Manny Pacquiao has made his way to Los Angeles for the back half of his training camp ahead of his July 20 FOX pay-per-view main event against Keith Thurman, and the 40-year-old living legend says he’s training harder than ever, and that he considers this fight the biggest test of his career.
“At age 40 I want to prove I can still beat an undefeated champion. I like being an underdog in this fight. Keith Thurman does not scare me. Keith Thurman does not intimidate me. Keith Thurman has inspired me. I am training harder than ever. This is the biggest test of my career. It is a story that is 40 years in the making.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO) can no doubt still fight at age 40, and is a legitimate top contender at 147 pounds still. There’s also no doubt, however, that he’s not the fighter he used to be, that his prime has been gone for years, and that on paper, Keith Thurman should be a much tougher challenge than Lucas Matthysse or Adrien Broner, Pacquiao’s last two opponents, both wins for the Filipino icon.
All of that is, of course, what makes this a pretty compelling fight. There’s also the fact that Thurman sat out nearly two years before returning in January, and had some problems with Josesito Lopez, a veteran fringe contender. Maybe it’s Thurman who has lost the bigger step at age 30.
But Manny’s right, he’s the underdog, though the odds are near toss-up level. This isn’t like when Claressa Shields pretends she’s ever been an underdog in pro boxing, Pacquiao is currently listed between +100 and +128, with Thurman the favorite at odds between -127 and -164.