We still wait for Manny Pacquiao – Keith Thurman next moves
A year ago Monday night, Manny Pacquiao reiterated his all-time greatness and also, defied “father time” with a stirring 12-round split decision win over previously unbeaten WBA Welterweight champion, Keith Thurman.
He knocked Thurman down in round one, bloodied his nose with a big combo midway through the fight and was the shockingly better man late.
But, now, an amazing 366 days later, the winner and the loser that night in Las Vegas are facing the same uncertain question – when will either be back in the ring, again?
First, you have to take into account the Covid-19 pandemic, which shut down the sport in mid-March and ceased all fights through the beginning of June.
It was believed that the eight division, future Hall-of-Famer Pacquiao would have been back in action this Summer if not for the shutdown.
As we have written previously, there’s been great speculation who his opponent might have been or still might be? The most intriguing name is UFC Superstar, Conor McGregor, as he and the now 41 year old Pacquiao are now represented by the same Los Angeles-based P.R. firm.
However, there been no tangible traction towards a Pacquiao – McGregor Showdown, as the Spring has turned to Summer.
There was also some belief that because both fighters are controlled by Premier Boxing Champions, that PBC was angling to have Unified IBF and WBC Welterweight Champion Errol Spence fight Pacquiao on Pay per view, in 2020.
But, Spence is still recovering from an automobile accident last October and coupled with the Coronavirus delays, is apparently going to fight top contender Danny Garcia later this year, instead.
As for Thurman, he’s no closer to returning to the ring either, but that is in part due to a common theme for the last three years of his career – injuries.
In the aftermath of the Pacquiao bout, it was discovered that Thurman had re-injured his left hand that had put him out of action for more than six months a couple of years ago. Thurman has subsequently had surgery and was cleared in the Spring to resume training only to have the Covid-19 shutdown complicate things.
Essentially, the 31 year old Thurman has had only two fights over the course of nearly three and half years. And, his inactivity added to the injury question marks are certainly holding back his marketability.
We suggested previously that he might re-engage in what was a tremendous 2017 World Title showdown, when Thurman out-slugged Shawn Porter to maintain his then unbeaten record. Both fighters desperately need a big win on their resumes to get back in the conversation for Pacquiao and maybe even a Porter rematch with Spence.
But, as the days and weeks now tick by, they’re still no firm update on when either Pacquiao or Thurman are scheduled to compete in 2020. The speculative belief is that it will be sometime in October or later.
For now, all we are left with is the lasting images of Pacquiao and his impressive showing last July defeating Thurman…. and then, more wondering.