On July 20, Manny Pacquiao, 40, faces welterweight titlist Keith Thurman, who is a decade younger. We asked a prominent veteran trainer to scout Pacquiao ... then let Pacman respond.
TRAINER Pacquiao will underestimate Thurman's punching power. Thurman is being judged by his last fight against Josesito Lopez [a 12-round majority decision for Thurman on Jan. 26]. You can't do that. He had been out of the ring for more than a year.
PACQUIAO I've been over his last fight; I've been over the fight he had before that. I'm sure he trains hard and is prepared, but I'm different [from his previous opponents]. I respect his power, but I can handle it.
TRAINER Pacquiao [61-7-2, 39 KOs] will fight Thurman the same way he's been fighting for years, with in-and-out movement. But I just don't see it working.
PACQUIAO That's our focus for this training, side by side and in and out. In the gym, our focus is footwork. I just work hard. It's much easier when you move around.
TRAINER As you get older, you're not as fast or strong. And Keith is a hard guy to hit-you're not just going to wind up and hit him.
PACQUIAO I'm so thankful for good health and that I'm able to do what I did when I was young. The speed is still there, the strength is still there, so that's why I'm still here continuing my career.
TRAINER But Thurman [29-0-0, 22 KOs] has good power too, and Pacquiao runs into right hands all night. It's going to be a very, very tough fight for Manny Pacquiao.
PACQUIAO I know about his right hand, so I have no problem with that. I'll be able to handle it. We will make sure our techniques and strategies address that. I'm feeling excited. This is going to be a good fight. I can't wait for it.
Watch Pacquiao-Thurman on July 20 (9 p.m. ET, Fox PPV) from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.