Manny Pacquiao will have to rely more on his speed and footwork to defeat Kieth Thurman. The 40-year-old Filipino boxing icon, actor, and public servant needs to summon all his experience against a relatively slower but equally dangerous opponent. 

In his local language, Buboy Fernandez said that Pacman shouldn’t stay three seconds inside Thurman’s reach. Pacquiao’s chief trainer added that he prefers Manny to fight Thurman like he did when he faced Oscar De La Hoya in 2008. 

Pacquiao released a flurry of punches that night that disabled De La Hoya’s rhythm, his camp exactly wants that to happen against Thurman. During a sparring session at the Wild Card Gym, Pacman side-stepped and feinted against his 23-year-old sparring partner, AB Lopez. Who later admitted he’s impressed with Manny’s movement. 

Lopez said to a couple of reporters that “you don’t see where he’s coming from.” Manny has “incredible footwork.”  While the fighting senator has a lot of punching power, his team said that they are not looking to knock Thurman down with one homerun punch. 

Pacquiao Needs Footwork, Speed To Knock Kieth Thurman Down Manny Pacquiao beat Adrien Broner on Saturday night to retain his WBA welterweight title. In this picture, Pacquiao in the ring during the WBA welterweight championship against Adrien Broner at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 19, 2019. photo: Christian Petersen/Getty images

Instead, they want Pacquiao to tire the reigning WBA “super” welterweight champion and look for a knockout in the end. 

While the Filipino fighter’s camp isn’t sure of a knockout, AB Lopez, his sparring partner, believes that Manny can overpower Thurman in the later rounds. 

He said that “there is no way” Thurman can be ready for the Pacman. He added that the best Kieth could do to prepare his mind for the best. Jessie Roman, who also sparred against the icon, said the Manny’s getting better and better. “He has too much power,” quipped the boxer. 

Pacquiao enters the fight with 61 wins and seven losses. He last fought against Adrian Broner, resulting in a win via a unanimous decision. 

Kieth Thurman enters the fight with a perfect 29 win record, 22 of those came from knockouts. Thurman almost lost against Josesito López but rallied at the late rounds to win via major decision. 

Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman, Welterweight Supremacy, will take place on July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Manny will challenge Thurman for his WBA super welterweight world title.

During his media day, the eight-time division titleholder said that he’s “100 percent ready for the bout.” Pacman even added that in his analysis of the fight, it wouldn’t reach 12 rounds.