by Nick Giongco
NEW YORK CITY – Manny Pacquiao was on the receiving end of yet another verbal assault from an opponent who sounded very much like the many before him who wound up failing to live up to their outrageous outburst.
Unbeaten American Keith Thurman on Tuesday ramped up his intimidation moves during the kickoff press conference announcing their undisputed battle for the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown on July 20 at the MGM Grand.
“I just don’t see anything that Manny Pacquiao can do in the ring,” said Thurman during their first official meetup at the Gotham Hall.
Pacquiao (61-7-2 with 39 KOs) just sat quietly on the dais, his face hardly showing any signs of discomfort from the trash-talking Thurman.
Thurman (29-0 with 22 KOs) was almost non-stop in dissing the eight-division champion, telling the audience that he’s “going to finish him off.”
“He’s too small. They say he’s fast. But to me he’s slow. His movements are predictable,” he stressed.
Thurman even took a page from Pacquiao storied smackdown of Oscar De La Hoya in 2008, saying history is going to repeat itself.
“He’s comparing me to Oscar De La Hoya but the problem is when he fought Oscar De La Hoya, De La Hoya was the old man and he was the young buck.”
And again, Thurman delivered the same lines that previous fighters used to utter when asked about their impression of Pacquiao, who, at 40, continues to defy father time.
“He’s used to fighting bigger guys but he’s not used to fighting bigger, younger stronger and I believe it’s going to show in the ring,” said the 30-year-old Thurman, who softened a bit during the Q&A with reporters after the presser.
“His (Pacquiao) performance against (Adrien) Broner inspired me and motivated me. Matter of fact, I ran three miles after that fight. Manny Pacquiao is a beautiful story. It was an inspiration to watch a 40-year-old man beat a younger guy. It was inspirational and it inspired me to beat him up.”
Pacquiao, though he denied it, was a bit peeved and yet remained dignified despite Thurman’s outspoken ways.
“I will show him what it’s like to be in the ring with me,” said Pacquiao, who took a flight to Los Angeles, second and final stop of the promotional tour, immediately after the press conference.
The Beverly Hills Hotel will be the venue of the West Coast leg of the two-city tour and Thurman is expected to be on beast mode again.
As for Pacquiao, he’ll likely retain his stately ways of being cool, calm and collected knowing that Thurman will end up choking on his words.