ANALYSIS: Head-to-head comparison between Pacquiao, Thurman

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2019 12:23 AM

This weekend, Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman fight for the World Boxing Association world welterweight title at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao will attempt yet again to defy his age by taking on a young fighter in Thurman to show that at 40 he can still complete at an elite level.

ABS-CBN News asked fight analysts to compare the two fighters in terms of punching power, agility, stamina and durability.

Dennis Principe, Ed Tolentino, Danrex Tapdasan and Nissi Icasiano shared their views on who among the two champions has the edge in each of these factors.

Any doubt as to who is the quicker fighter between Pacquiao and Thurman? Apu Gomes, AFP

Speed and agility

Danrex Tapdasan: Manny Pacquiao is more agile based sa mga previous fights nila. Even against elite fighters.

Dennis Principe: Lamang si Manny Pacquiao. He's proven that time and again, he's fought bigger, stronger and determined fighters. But because of his agility nagawa niyang iwasan ang matamaan for 12 rounds, ginawa niyang amateur ang mga elite fighters na nakalaban niya using his speed and agility.

Ed Tolentino: Pacquiao has the edge. Great hand speed, volume of punches. Still very agile. He still has that hop, that bounce. One would need a fly swatter to catch him. Thurman can box and move, but he is not that polished a boxer. And his combinations are not only wide, but slow, too.

Nissi Icasiano: Speed, of course, kay Manny Pacquiao. Laging nakikita nila ang hand speed, pero ang nagpapabilis talaga kay Manny Pacquiao ay 'yung foot speed niya, ‘yung angling niya napaka-superb kung paano niyang ine-execute. How he creates angles, doon lumalabas ang speed niya e. 

The Pacman has been known to gobble up his opponent with his powerful hits, but there's a reason his next opponent is called "One Time." John Locher, AP

Punching Power

Danrex Tapdasan: Si Manny Pacquiao and lamang sa power. We have watched Manny Pacquiao knock out the elite competition. Sina (Ricky) Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Oscar de la Hoya, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera. He has stopped all these fighters. He has stopped them in the big stage. Si Thurman ‘pag lumalaban sa elite fighters nagiging smart fighter siya, hindi nana-knock out yung elite fighters. So power favors Manny Pacquiao.

Dennis Principe: Thurman has the edge here. Because he's a welterweight, an elite and natural welterweight fighter.

Ed Tolentino: I say it is even. The power of both men are actually an enigma these days. Pacquiao has scored only 1 knockout since 2009 while Thurman has scored only 1 since 2015. So dead even, tabla lang. Malakas pareho, pero medyo suspect na in recent years.

Nissi Icasiano: Sa power ang masasabi ko lamang dito si Manny Pacquiao. If we’re going to look at their resum√©, Manny Pacquiao has knocked out the best of the best. But we also have to consider the age ni Thurman. The difference is Thurman needs to throw an all-in-one punch, Hail Mary pa ‘yun para makakuha ng knockout. The difference dito kay Manny Pacquiao is the followup. Two hands niya mabigat, when he hurts you talagang sunod-sunod and there’s no getting back.

No one should question the level of endurance that Pacquiao, a known "gym rat," has. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News


Danrex Tapdasan: I think it will be equal for this fight. I don't think any of them will leave anything for granted sa stamina. Both of them will still have full tanks by the end of 12 rounds.

Dennis Principe: I'd give that to Manny Pacquiao because he's a gym rat. The gym is a playground for him. Kaya stamina, endurance has never been a problem for Manny. He's legendary pagdating sa aspetong iyan.

Ed Tolentino: Pacquiao gets the edge in stamina. For a 40-year-old, he is like the Energizer Bunny. Thurman's stamina is highly suspect; the rust was evident against Josesito Lopez and Pacquiao will look to capitalize. Pacquiao will take this fight into the trenches to test Thurman's stamina.

Nissi Icasiano: Stamina, it’s obvious na kay Manny Pacquiao (ang edge). One, Manny Pacquiao has more rounds, more fights than Keith Thurman. Thurman was obvious in his last fight against Josesito Lopez that after the seventh round he started to fade and it’s bad news for Thurman when there’s an energizer bunny in front of him on July 20. He has to keep up with Manny Pacquiao. If he starts to lose steam against Manny Pacquiao it’s going to be a precarious position for Keith Thurman.

Who's physically tougher? Some analysts believe it's Thurman. Mike Ehrmann, AFP


Danrex Tapdasan: Kung durability ang pag-uusapan, tingnan natin ang previous fights. I will tend to favor Thurman sa durabity dahil hindi pa siya natatalo, hindi pa nana-knock out, while si Pacquiao na knockout na.

Dennis Principe: Thurman. He's a natural welteweight, mano-a-mano he would be able to take the best punches of Manny Pacquiao.

Ed Tolentino: Thurman has never been knocked out, although he was hurt by Lopez. Pacquiao had been knocked out 2 times, but the first 2 were early in his career and Marquez got lucky with that right hand. Pacquiao had taken the power shots of guys like Cotto and Margarito. Thurman has not really been that tested. I am going for Pacquiao, even at 40.

Nissi Icasanio: Both may ipinakitang durability naman. I think it's a tie. Ipinakita ang puso nung tinamaan ni Josesito Lopez si Keith Thurman. For Manny Pacquiao ganoon din. Of course sasabihin nilang naknockout ni Juan Manuel Marquez si Manny Pacquiao. Pero apat na beses silang naglaban. May familiarity na rin between the two. Durability is a tie between the two.

When asked to predict the winner, local analysts give Pacquiao their vote; how he will do it, that's the trickier question to answer. Joe Camporeale, USA Today Sports/Reuters

So who will win and how?

Ed Tolentino: People see a decision win for Pacquiao, but I think this fight can end by stoppage within 10 rounds. Thurman's wide punches, limited head movement augur well for Pacquiao. It is going to be an exciting fight.

Dennis Principe: Tingin ko Manny Pacquiao will win a lopsided decision. Pero kung may KO, it will be Manny Pacquiao in the last few rounds. Malaking bagay kasi ang 2-year inactivity ni Thurman. He never fought as fast as agile and as durable as Manny Pacquiao. May issue pa ni Thurman sa mga injuries. If you notice masyadong tahimik si Thurman, wala kang makikitang videos him training, he's an enigma.

Nissi Icasiano: I'm not saying he's going to knock out Thurman; it's going to be a decision victory. Manny Pacquiao will have his hands full especially if Keith Thurman starts to run because he has to catch Thurman. If Keith Thurman chooses to stand and trade then it’s going to end by knockout.

Danrex Tapdasan: The result of this fight will depend on the last 5 rounds. I think this fight will end in a decision, matatapos ang 12 rounds. But I can't pick a winner, it's still up for grabs sa akin. This will be a very close fight. Whoever wins 3 of the last 5 rounds will win via a slim margin. This is a nip and tuck fight. A lot of close rounds.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.