Neither Thurman Nor Pacquiao Short on Confidence as WBA Welterweight Title Fight Draws Nearer

Posted on: July 4, 2019, 10:26h. 

Last updated on: July 5, 2019, 10:32h.

We’re still more than two weeks away from Manny Pacquiao squaring off against Keith Thurman in a highly anticipated World Boxing Association welterweight title bout, but the two boxers and their camps have been making plenty of noise recently in preparing for the July 20 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Manny Pacquiao, left, and Keith Thurman, seen here at a Beverly Hills, Calif., press conference for their upcoming fight, will step into the ring July 20 at the Las Vegas MGM Grand to unify the WBA welterweight championship. (Image: Harry How/Getty Images)

Most notably, Thurman told TMZ Sports last week that he planned to bet on himself to win the fight with an early knockout of the legendary 40-year-old Filipino fighter. And we’re not talking chump change, either, as the American fighter, undefeated in 29 bouts said he’d wager $10,000 on a KO in the first two rounds.

That’s motivation, right?” Thurman said. “You’ve seen fighters, you know they can be confident, this and that, but I can’t go three minutes going tap-tap-tap when I got 10K on the round. I gotta swing a few times. I gotta try to hit a home run.”

While it’s not known exactly how much Thurman will get for the bout – reports indicate Pacquiao will get paid at least $20 million – winning such a bet would provide a nice payday on its own.

FanDuel’s sportsbook currently gives Thurman +2800 odds of winning by knockout during the first three rounds. So, a $10,000 bet would net $280,000.

Thurman also has taken some umbrage about the focus being on Pacquaio’s WBA welterweight title, even though he’s the body’s welterweight super champion.

“He’s fighting for my belt…it’s as if the world has forgot,” he said in an interview on PBC’s Face to Face.

Pacquiao Camp Equally Certain

Thurman isn’t alone when it comes to bravado. Noted boxing trainer Freddy Roach, a member of Pacquiao’s camp, is confident in his fighter, even though “Pacman” is 10 years older and will be giving up about 22 inches in reach.

Despite the age difference, Roach believes it’s Thurman who is the slower of the two fighters, comparing him to Heinz ketchup in an interview with

“Manny is going to beat him 57 ways on July 20,” he said. “The fans know it, and the sports books know it. Manny has gone from underdog to a betting favorite.”

Pacquiao will not go into the MGM Grand with any signs of rust. The July 20 bout will be his third championship bout in the last 12 months.

Sportsbooks Flip

Roach is right about one thing: The sportsbooks now show Pacquiao as the favorite.

When the fight was first announced in mid-May, oddsmakers gave Thurman the edge, with FanDuel listing the 30-year-old at -145, meaning a $145 bet would win $100. At that time, the sportsbook listed Pacquiao at even money.

FanDuel now shows Pacquiao with -130 odds, while Thurman is listed at -110. PointsBet lists Pacquiao at -122, while Thurman is listed at even money. Meanwhile, BetAmerica offers Pacquiao at -130 and Thurman at +115.

The fight, promoted by Premier Boxing Champions, will be shown on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View with three undercard fights. The broadcast, which costs $74.99 plus tax, will start at 9 pm ET.