Thurman will fade vs Pacquiao – Roach
LOS ANGELES – Freddie Roach does not think Keith Thurman can keep up with Manny Pacquiao especially if their fight next week goes into the later rounds.
"I like Manny in the later rounds, that's where he usually excels,” Roach, now Pacquiao’s training consultant, told mediamen at Wednesday’s open workout at his famous Wild Card Gym here in Hollywood (Thursday Manila time).
So don’t expect Pacquiao to come out looking for an early homerun against the 30-year-old Thurman at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas next Saturday (Sunday Manila time).
If Roach would have his way, Pacquiao will be out to slowly break Thurman down in their 12-round showdown for the right to be the WBA’s undisputed welterweight champion.
Even the bespectacled cornerman isn’t keen on an early knockout victory for the Filipino icon.
"I am not predicting a knockout. We are just counting on winning every round, one at a time,” Roach added.
True enough, knockouts rarely come by nowadays for Pacquiao, whose many recent fights have gone the distance. It’s only last year that Pacquiao ended his long knockout drought when he stopped Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to become the WBA’s “regular” welterweight champion.
Pacquiao once again settled for a decision win the last time he fought, against Adrien Broner last January.
For Roach, Pacquiao’s best chance to stop Thurman would be late in the fight.
“Thurman, to me, that is where he usually starts fading, especially in his last two fights. He starts out quickly and fades as the fight goes on,” Roach continued.
At 40 years old, Pacquiao’s best days are obviously behind him, and so is his reckless, devil-may-care approach.
Roach, for his part, expects his longtime ward to fight smart this time, especially against the dangerous and undefeated Thurman.
"Manny has heard the trash talk from Thurman and he's not happy about it. But Manny isn't the type of guy to carry anger into a fight. He will fight the smart fight and stick with the game plan that we have set out to win this fight,” he said.