The fighting senator, Manny Pacquiao, had his first face off with his next opponent the undefeated Kieth Thurman on Tuesday morning in New York.
Pacquiao, who heads into the bout with a 61-7-2, win-loss-draw record, overpowered Adrien Broner in a lopsided decision victory in January, and stopped Lucas Matthysse in July 2018.
Thurman, meanwhile, has won all 29 of his bouts, but his last fight in January — a majority-decision win over Josesito Lopez — came at the heels of a layoff that lasted nearly 2 years.
Thurman showed his respect for Pacquiao, but claimed that the legend’s time is up.
“I’m happy to be sharing the ring with a legend like Manny Pacquiao, but for those who know boxing times change. I believe boxing has come to a new era. Floyd is gone, Pacquiao is here, come July 20th he will disappear.”
Meanwhile, the fighting senator said going up against the undefeated younger champion gives him more motivation to lace up the gloves once again
“I’ve been boxing for (3) decades and I’ve never been scared or intimidated with an opponent, I’m just excited for this fight. I’m fighting undefeated Keith Thurman. He’s the kind of fighter that you can’t underestimate. The fact that he’s undefeated gives me more encouragement, motivation to work hard.”
The two fighters will continue their media tour as the head to Los Angeles on Wednesday.
The welterweight showdown of Pacquiao and Thurman will happen on July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.