Billed as welterweight supremacy, Manny Pacquiao returns to the ring on July 20 in an intriguing fight for bitcoin bettors, against unbeaten WBA (super) welterweight champion, Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
With both fighters looking to be regarded as the number one fighter in one of boxing’s most talented divisions, will Thurman retire the ring legend and stake his claim as the best welterweight in the world, or will Manny Pacquiao roll back the years and produce another stunning performance?
Comparing both fighters records
Manny Pacquiao is a future hall of fame fighter who has a remarkable resume of ring legends on his CV. The Filipino’s record currently reads 61-7-2, with 39 KOs.
‘Pac Man’ stands at 5’6” with a 67” reach and has won world titles from Junior Lightweight all the way through to Junior Middleweight. He has looked impressive during his most recent bouts, despite his age, against younger, solid welterweight contenders Jessie Vargas, and Adrien Broner.
Keith Thurman is a 30 year-old American fighter, and is still undefeated as a professional. His record reads 29-0, with 22 KO’s. ‘One Time’ is 5’8” with a 69” reach and has big wins in his career over some of today’s top welterweight contenders such as Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, whilst boasting a stellar amateur career that saw him gain a record of 101 victories with 76 KO's, winning six National Championships along the way.
Is Thurman a value bet?
Pacquiao, even at age 40, still brings worldwide popularity, and box-office appeal. The edge in the early odds saw Thurman installed as favourite, but there has since been a swing in Pacquiao's favour, at least for now.
There are many different possible outcomes for this fight, but it will essentially boil down to the fact that Pacquiao is rumoured to be having a remarkable camp, and seems highly motivated by Thurman's trash talk. Many experts and pundits were also far from impressed with Thurman's unanimous-decision victory in his previous fight against Josesito Lopez, and now feel that his skills and motivation for the sport have decreased.
Pacquiao has only been a betting underdog once in the past ten years, and that was back in 2015 when he faced Floyd Mayweather Jr, but the 40 year-old does have seven losses on his record, which shows he is beatable.
Pacquiao won his first world title as a flyweight way back in 1999, and has since secured championships in seven weight divisions, but bitcoin bettors should note that the ring legend is 40 years of age, and when a fighter reaches this age, and is still fighting at elite level, he is not going to be as good as he once was in his prime.
Thurman will be looking to gain inspiration from his performances where he was regarded as the most dangerous welterweight on the planet. Victories over Jesús Soto Karass, Diego Chavez, and Shawn Porter demonstrated that the American carried punching power, durability, and raw athleticism at the top end of the sport, but since then the 30 year-old has sustained multiple injuries and hasn’t demonstrated that kind of form in his previous fights but now claims he is back to his sharpest best.
A good way to find value betting on boxing is to look at the differences in bookmakers odds. Where bookmakers disagree about the chance of a fighter winning may be where value is present, and it seems this fight could be an example of that with the sudden shift in odds in Pacquiao’s favour.
Will Thurman’s inactivity be a key factor?
A key factor in the fight (and potentially an advantage for Pacquiao) is activity, or a lack there of, for Thurman. The American has only boxed twice in three years due to injuries to his elbow, and will need to be better than he was in his previous bout to be victorious.
Thurman brings a 10-year age advantage into the fight, a natural edge in size, and at this stage of both fighters’ careers, better all-round athleticism. Thurman’s youth, height, reach and overall size advantage should prove a problem for Pacquiao and is a factor that bitcoin bettors should keep an eye on.
Thurman’s last performance against Josesito Lopez has controlled plenty of pre-fight debates and predictions, but it’s better to focus more on how the two fighter’s strengths and weaknesses shape up against each other at this stage of their careers.
Josesito Lopez applied plenty of pressure against Thurman which disturbed his game plan and offset his rhythm in the ring, but Pacquiao is not a pressure fighter. He is more of a boxer at this stage of his career which is an advantage to the younger man.
Who will win the fight?
The younger, stronger, and bigger Thurman does have the tools to nullify Pacquiao this weekend. It's a matter of carrying out the task in hand and performing to the level that he is capable of if he is to be victorious. The 30 year-old American is a well-rounded fighter with many assets to his game. The most powerful is his mind in the ring.
Thurman knows what he has to do, and what he needs to do to beat a guy like Manny Pacquiao, and will look to make sure he is the wrong style for him on fight night. He moves a lot, hits hard, and punches from all angles, which, if applied correctly, can be the difference in Las Vegas on July 20.
For Pacquiao, at age 40, it will be hard to chase Thurman down, being a much smaller man naturally. The higher quality of contest in the lower weight classes, the more likely a decision victory becomes - and bitcoin bettors should expect no different in this bout.
Thurman will likely look to use his size and technical skills to his advantage to stay on the outside and engage when he wants, rather than when Pacquiao wants, making the undefeated American a good pick to win on points in a highly competitive fight.
Pick: Thurman at 2.28