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Pacquiao, Thurman make weight for Saturday

LAS VEGAS -- Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman had just made weight when they moved toward each other for the traditional stare-down for the cheering fans and photographers on Friday afternoon inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

It was hard not to notice, however, that Thurman was the much bigger man than Pacquiao, who had to stare up at Thurman, whom he will challenge for his welterweight world title on Saturday (Fox, 7 p.m. ET; Fox PPV, 9 p.m. ET) in one of the year's most significant fights.

It certainly won't be the first time, however, that Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), the only boxer to win world titles in eight weight classes, will be the smaller man in a fight. He is used to it and said he plans to show Thurman that the size doesn't matter when it comes to fighting a fast, powerful and experienced southpaw like him.

"[Saturday] night, class is in session," the 40-year-old Pacquiao said. "I hope Keith Thurman studied hard because Professor Pacquiao gives very hard tests."

Thurman, who will be making the sixth defense of his 147-pound world title, and Pacquiao, the secondary titlist, both weighed 146½ pounds and each appeared to be in supreme condition.

"I am so focused for this fight, for this training camp, and I'm ready," Pacquiao said. "I am so prepared for this fight."

Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), 30, of Clearwater, Florida, also proclaimed himself ready to roll. "It's my time. This is 'One Time.' Manny Pacquiao ain't doing nothing to me, baby," Thurman said.

Super middleweight world titlist Caleb Plant, making his first title defense, and Mike Lee, the Notre Dame graduate in finance and Subway restaurant pitchman, also made weight and had an intense stare-down and exchanged words as they have throughout the chippy promotion. Plant was on the division limit of 168 pounds, and Lee, who has been a career light heavyweight but moved down in weight for the title shot, was 167.

"I'm ready to take this. And new! That's all I gotta say," Lee said. "I'm ready for [Saturday] night, baby!"

Lee (21-0, 11 KOs), of Chicago, said he saw fear in Plant's eyes when they went face-to-face, which Plant (18-0, 10 KOs), an Ashland City, Tennessee, native living in Las Vegas, scoffed at.

"When that bell rings, he's gonna find out for sure," Plant said. "That dude is delusional. When that bell rings, I'm gonna teach him a lesson he never learned at Notre Dame."

Yordenis Ugas (23-4,11 KOs), a 2008 Cuban Olympic bronze medalist fighting out of Miami, and former lightweight world titleholder Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-0-1, 19 KOs), of Weslaco Texas, both were on the welterweight division limit of 147 pounds for their world title elimination bout. The winner will be in the mandatory position to challenge for the belt held by Shawn Porter, who edged Ugas by split decision on March 9.

Former junior welterweight world titlist Sergey Lipinets (15-1, 11 KOs), a Kazakhstan native fighting out of Los Angeles, was 147 pounds for his 10-round welterweight bout against the Philippines' Jayar Inson (18-2, 12 KOs), who was also 147. The fight was made earlier on Friday when former world title challenger John Molina Jr., Lipinets' original opponent, dropped out because he threw out his back on Thursday night. Inson had been due to fight an eight-rounder on the non-televised portion of the card.

Former bantamweight world titlist Luis Nery (29-0, 23 KOs), of Mexico, who lost his belt in 2018 for failing to make the 118-pound weight limit for a title defense in Japan, struggled to make weight for his 12-rounder against former world titlist Juan Carlos Payano (21-2, 9 KOs), of the Dominican Republic. While Payano was 117½ pounds, Nery, looking all skin and bones, was 118½ pounds on his first attempt. He used nearly all of the allotted one hour to shake off the half-pound, and when he returned to the scale he was 118.

Houston-based Nigerian heavyweight Efe Ajagba (10-0, 9 KOs) was a shredded 242 pounds and Turkey's Ali Eren Demirezen (11-0, 10 KOs) was a soft 247½ pounds for a 10-rounder between 2016 Olympians.

Also on Friday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission released the official contract purses for the fighters. Pacquiao's purse is $10 million, but he is guaranteed at least double that. Thurman's purse is $2.5 million but he is guaranteed millions more as well. Figueroa and Ugas will each make $300,000, Lipinets $250,000, Inson $10,000 (though he is guaranteed thousands more), Nery $150,000, Payano $25,000, Plant $750,000, Lee $250,000, Ajagba $15,000 and Demirezen $10,000.