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Manny Pacquiao vows to shock Keith Thurman after 'best training camp in years'

Filipino takes on undefeated American at MGM Grand in Las Vegas – the 40-year-old's third world title bout in 12 months

Manny Pacquiao, left, takes on Keith Thurman in what will be the Filipino's 71st fight of a remarkable career. AFP
Manny Pacquiao, left, takes on Keith Thurman in what will be the Filipino's 71st fight of a remarkable career. AFP

Manny Pacquiao says Keith Thurman won’t know what hit him when the two meet in the ring this weekend in their WBA world welterweight title fight.

The Filipino, 40, takes on the undefeated American, 10 years his junior, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas – Pacquiao’s third world title bout in 12 months.

Typically, Thurman has been by far the more vocal of the pair in the build-up to Saturday night, making a string of comments that were said to have riled his opponent. The Florida native has promised to send Pacquiao into retirement, while also saying he would “crucify” him in the ring. Pacquiao is deeply religious.

However, the Filipino senator said: “I have heard everything he has said about me. I have heard everything he has said he will do to me in the fight. Those things he says about me do not make me angry. They inspire me.”

The fight represents the 71st of Pacquiao’s storied career, which already boasts 61 victories, 39 by knockout. The reigning Fighter of the Decade, he is the only boxer in history to win world titles in eight different weight classes.

“This has been the best training camp I have had in years,” Pacquiao said. “Keith Thurman thinks he is going to retire me. I am not ready to look back. I am still looking forward. Keith Thurman is going to be very surprised by what he sees from me in the ring. He is going to leave the ring a very disappointed fighter.”

Thurman, meanwhile, has 29 professional wins on an unblemished record. Like Pacquiao, he last fought in January, although the bout against Josesito Lopez marked his competitive return to the ring after 22 months following injury.

Staying true to character on Tuesday, Thurman arrived at the MGM Grand Hotel lobby wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with “game over” on its front.

“Look at your boy right here; it’s game over baby,” he said. “I just showed up and it’s game over. Read the back, 'do you wanna continue?' The answer is no. There is no continuation after this.”

Updated: July 17, 2019 10:27 PM

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