Following a long day of training, Keith Thurman takes some time to chat with Marcos Villegas of Fight Hub TV to discuss his upcoming bout with Manny Pacquiao and how things have been coming along. Check it out...
Thurman on how he’s currently feeling in training camp, just after a sparring session:
“Obviously wasn’t my best day. Plus we did circuit training before we even got into the ring, so we got into the ring tired today. But we pushed ourselves and it felt good, you know? Seeing the angles against a southpaw — my last fighter Josesito Lopez was a long, lanky right-hander, Manny Pacquiao’s a short, explosive southpaw, it’s completely night and day so preparation is going to be very important.
“But I’m enjoying it. It was really nice to be in the ring, it was really nice to see punches and seeing the angles opening. You know, we got new 18oz gloves we were using, we had a new headgear on, you know. It just felt good. Boxing is a beautiful sport. I feel really confident in my right hand, I’m always confident in my movement, but I’m trying to not utilize it as much. You know, I wanna hold my ground, stand my ground, and, you know, let Manny Pacquiao do what Manny Pacquiao does because I believe that when he fights and when he opens up — you know, just like all the great matches he was in the past — he gives it but he takes it because he’s more offensive than defensive.
“And he almost uses his offense as his defense because he’s so offensive and he attacks you from different angles. So while he’s using his offense and then while he’s moving around you, that’s the defensive move that applies in his offensive strategy. But he’s really also utilizing those angles to hopefully hit you from a new angle in a different approach. So, my sparring partner was trying to mimic that a little bit.
“Everybody, I tell them, I know you’re a southpaw, I know you have a fight style that got you to where you are today, but you’re in this training camp and I need you to fight a little bit like Manny Pacquiao. Please go home, watch some tapes, watch some highlights, and mimic a little of that burst of energy, those flurries and attacks if you want to stay in my chest, move around — whatever you can do that mimics because it’s impossible to clone Manny Pacquiao.
“We’re not going to have a replica of him but if we can get one guy who can hop around the ring like him, if we can get another guy who throws the left hand like him, if we can just get fighters that can do one of the attributes — that’s another reason we use multiple sparring partners, in hopes that when you combine what these fighters are doing you’re getting an close to the full picture so that when you’re in with the real deal, Manny ‘Pac Man’ Pacquiao, you’re fully prepared and there’s not a lot of surprises the night of the fight.”
On how he’s feeling after such a long layoff with only one recent fight under his belt:
“You know, 30 years old, I don’t feel like, you know, the Keith Thurman that was in his 20s. And two years of inactivity, you know. But I feel good. And I’m hoping to continue this momentum and the night of the fight I plan on feeling great. So I’m really happy with where we are right now with several weeks to go. There’s more in preparation. The work that I did today, I already made some key notes to myself on what I wanna bring out of myself for the next few weeks to really know that we’re gonna be prepared for this fight. I love the fight, I love the matchup, it’s an amazing opportunity to share the ring with the legendary Pacman Pacquiao. He has a great performance in his last fight and he’s gonna try to replicate that again against me, and I just wanna present to him a bigger and better challenge — one that he won’t be able to defeat.”
On if he feels like he’s still got the same speed and power as he did before his injuries:
“You know, it’s really hard to say because the two years of inactivity — I lost the feeling of what it felt like to be a fighter. At the end of the day boxing is not new to me, but that’s why we’re in here working and I just want to be the best that I can be. You know, 12 round championship boxing is no easy task. My last fight I was able to move around a lot and like I said, this fight I know I always have my feet behind me, but I would like — because Pacquiao is the smaller guy — I would like to be able to push him backwards.
“That’s why you saw today me moving forward sometimes, getting into my sparring partner’s chest. You know, a lot of times I’ve come accustomed to fighting on the outside, using range, using distance, letting people make mistakes. But now I say, you know, this has just gotta be a great fight. I want a great fight. I wanna get him on the inside and the outside, so we’re trying to prepare for that.”
On his speed, timing, and power looking solid during this sparring session:
“Yeah, you know this is our second camp of the year and we took some of the momentum from the Josesito Lopez camp and I have two strength & conditioning coaches, and I believe it’s gonna show. I tell everybody, when you watch fighters perform, you know, you’re not just watching their performance, but you’re watching the results of their preparation for that performance, right? So people talk about, you know, the way Anthony Joshua looked, you know?
“However he looked — I didn’t watch the whole fight, I did see some highlights and stuff — and it didn’t look like he was really there, you know? And heavyweights don’t have to make weight so they don’t have to force themselves to go through what I must force myself to go through. Because I have to do a lot of cardio, the strength & conditioning work, and diet, you know, just to perform, just to step on the scale and make sure that I agreed to the contract and I’m not gonna get fined anything. A heavyweight gets to train to the best of their ability or however they feel that’s gonna make them prepared for that match. But if he doesn’t wanna run for 45 minutes a day, he doesn’t have to. If he wants to hit the bag for an hour straight and he calls that his workout, he can do that.”