by Nick Giongco
LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao gives out a test that he believes Keith Thurman will flunk Saturday night (Sunday noon in Manila) at the MGM Grand.
“I am going to teach him a lesson,” Pacquiao said, obviously pissed over Thurman’s non-stop trash-talking that was evident again during their official weighin on Friday.
“I hope Keith Thurman studied hard because Prof. Pacquiao gives out very hard tests,” said the 40-year-old Filipino, who will attempt to dislodge Thurman as the World Boxing Association ‘super’ welterweight champion.
Pacquiao, the regular champion, is slightly favored to beat the loudmouthed Florida native, whose antics have clearly gotten under the eight-division champion’s skin.
“He really talks a lot,” said Pacquiao, who scaled in at 146 ½ lbs.
Thurman, younger by ten years, also came in at 146 ½ lbs and was in his element during the pre-fight ritual despite the cascade of boos that he received from the predominantly-Filipino crowd.
Thurman was the first to step on the scales officially before Pacquiao followed to the delight of the audience that watched the whole affair that lasted just less than minutes.
During the traditional staredown, Pacquiao (61-7-2 with 39 KOs) and Thurman (29-0 with 22 KOs) looked at each others’ eyes for 27 seconds before the American started ranting anew.
Pacquiao just smiled and turned away as those in attendance jeered Thurman, who later made the cut-throat gesture twice to show the crowd how confident he is in his bid of sending his fancied foe into retirement.
“It’s my time and (would still be) still champion tomorrow night,” said Thurman, who opened as the slight favorite before the tables turned earlier in the week.
“Manny Pacquiao won’t do anything to me,” added Thurman, who at 5-7 ½ is taller by almost two inches.
BETTORS PICK PACQUIAO
Odds continued to swing in favor of Pacquiao on the eve of the fight.
The MGM Grand sportsbook listed Pacquiao -175 ($175 wins $100) while Thurman +155 ($110 wins $155) late Friday night.
Other betting lines include Pacquiao by KO +200 and Pacquiao by Decision +150 and Thurman by KO +600 and Thurman by Decision +220.