UPDATE: This was made official on the FOX broadcast and via social media.
ANNOUNCEMENT: July 20th will be a BIG night in boxing. We're excited to announce @MannyPacquio vs @keithfthurmanjr and @SweetHandsPlant vs @mikeleeboxing coming to you on July 20th. #PacquiaoThurman #PlantLee #PBConFOX #AreYouNotEntertained? pic.twitter.com/t861YOV5oH— PBC (@premierboxing) May 12, 2019
Word leaked about one announcement set to be made on tonight’s FOX card, as we already know that Caleb Plant will defend his IBF super middleweight title on July 20 on FOX against Notre Dame Subway himself, Mike Lee.
And now Mike Coppinger reports that the same night, we’ll have a FOX pay-per-view headlined by Manny Pacquiao vs Keith Thurman, which will also be officially announced tonight on FOX.
Pacquiao-Thurman for July 20 has been in the works for a while, and now it looks like it’s a done deal.
Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO) holds the WBA’s secondary “world” title at 147 pounds, and more important is still one of the most famous and recognizable active boxers in the world, maybe still the most famous and recognizable across the globe.
Thurman (29-0, 22 KO) has the WBA “super world” title at 147, so he’s the recognized champion of their sanctioning body by most.
But what’s most important — because the WBA will find a way to make a vacant “world” title fight sooner than later after this is over — is that this is a meeting of two guys who are both no worse than top six in the world at welterweight, and it’s a fight that figures to be interesting and competitive.
Both Pacquiao, 40, and Thurman, 30, last fought in January. Pacquiao headlined a Showtime PPV on Jan. 19, widely outpointing Adrien Broner. Thurman broke a nearly two-year absence on Jan. 26, winning a majority decision over Josesito Lopez to retain his belt on FOX.