by Nick Giongco
LAS VEGAS – A panel of forty-six experts, composed of all-time greats, reigning champions and ex-titleholders and trainers, were asked to give their thoughts on this Saturday’s world welterweight title showdown starring Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman.
The final tally read, 24-19 for Pacquiao; three saw this fight at the MGM Grand ending on a draw.
Former rivals Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran sided with Pacquiao, saying the Filipino will win it on points. Former foe Shane Mosley and ex-sparmate Shawn Porter and the legendary Roy Jones also predicted that Pacquiao will win.
Duran, nicknamed Manos de Piedra (Hand of Stone), swears Pacquiao “is very tough and for me, he is going to win this fight.”
While Pacquiao had solid backers, Thurman also has his share of admirers, led by Sugar Ray Leonard, who feels the American “has a ton of talent, power and speed.”
Pacquiao, 40, is coming off a rousing win over Adrien Broner last Jan. 26. Exactly a week later, it was Thurman’s turn to shine but he looked miserable against Josesito Lopez.
Thurman was in deep trouble in the seventh round before regaining his composure en route to victory on points.
Based on the MGM Grand sportsbook, Pacquiao is the slight favorite, a status the eight-division champion has enjoyed for years.