Keith Thurman vs. Manny Pacquiao has been announced for 20th July at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Many fans have said the affair is a 50-50 fight – with Pacquiao at the age of 40, and Thurman’s recent wobble in his fight against Josesito López, neither can afford to lose. This fight will be a survival of the fittest as the winner will not only take the (Super) Welterweight Title, but for the loser, it could end their career. 

In some ways this match is far more exciting than your typical title match as both have already attained glory. They have become household names. This match isn’t about fame, money or glory, it is about remaining relevant in boxing, in one last match where the winner takes all. With Pacquiao being (Regular) Welterweight Champion and Thurman the current (Super) Welterweight Champion losing could cost them everything. 

If you take a look into Pacquiao’s well-established career, with 70 fights under his belt, he retains 61 wins with only seven losses. However, four of those defeats are in his last 11 fights. Normally the ratio of win-to-loss here would be easily dismissed, but it is all about how he looks going in to this next bout, and he looks at risk. Not forgetting that Pacquiao is now 40-years-old, and although as a professional boxer he is ‘fighting fit’, his boxing body clock is starting to tick its last tocks. For Pacquiao, it’s a case of remaining successful in the sport, he has only fought once a year since 2015, so it appears he is slowing down and a loss at the hands of Thurman could cause him to call it quits and announce his retirement. 

When looking at Thurman’s career, you’ll find a greater success percentage, but it comes with much less experience. Thurman has fought in 30 matches and won them all, which sets him up nicely for a win against Pacquaio right? Wrong. Thurman has fought seven fights in the last five years, and five of those went the full 12 rounds, with not one KO. So, although Thurman has been seeing results, his future is hanging by a thread. Going into this fight Thurman is unstable, he seems to lack confidence and a loss could well be the final punch in his career. For Thurman, he really needs to retain his title, but it does also feel that it is just another hurdle he is facing, desperate to get to a finish. 

So, is this bout a 50-50 affair? Ultimately, it’s very close to being one, with Pacquiao knocking on the exit door and Thurman appearing to lose his touch, both will be fighting to remain relevant.  Both are seeking redemption in one way or another, and this fight will see who has the talent and power to do it. Who will ignite their flame and set alight the ring and who will crash and burn?  

It’s an unpredictable match where no doubt, both boxers have something to fight for, something they both want to prove and achieve. Thurman v Pacquiao – not just another title match, a career-ending fight.