MANILA, Philippines – Spar mate Tim Tszyu is persuaded that Manny Pacquiao will stop Keith Thurman in the final stage of their 12-rounder for the World Boxing Association unified welterweight crown on Sunday, July 21st of Philippine time at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Tszyu (13-0, 10 knockouts), who scuffled for 5 rounds with Pacquiao Thursday afternoon after a four-round opening grind on Tuesday, feels the eight-division world champion, with his quickness and ring savvy, would eventually catch Thurman with solid punches.
“I think Manny will catch him (Thurman),” stated Tszyu. When that happens, Thurman’s fight stance would change drastically.
While Pacquiao and Tszyu, son of former world champion and Australian legend Kosta Tszyu, were just trying to shake off ring rust and jet lag, respectively, on Tuesday, they up the work rate Thursday at Elorde Gym near Mall of Asia.
“They are starting to hit each other,” stated assistant trainer Nonoy Neri in Filipino. “We can expect more heavy blows being thrown on Saturday.”
Neri added that Pacquiao’s power and speed are already evident although he has yet to regain his sense of timing.
Lead trainer Buboy Fernandez, who has carefully reviewed and analyzed tapes of Thurman’s last few fights, especially his unanimous decision wins over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, believes Tszyu repeats Thurman’s box and counter style.
Tszyu is even bigger (super welterweight), stronger and taller than the 5-foot-7 ½ Thurman. Additionally, Neri feels Tszyu currently weighs around 165 pounds, so it’s unlikely for Thurman to come in heavier than that on fight night.
“He (Tszyu) fights good and is even faster than Thurman,” concluded Neri. “He is an ideal sparring partner.”