One of the biggest boxing matches of the year takes place this Saturday, July 20th at the MGM Grande Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (29-0-1 NC, 22 KOs) defends his title against the great Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) in a matchup that really is not easy to predict.
Thurman returned from a long layoff in January and had a tougher than expected tune-up bout, as he won a decision over journeyman Josesito Lopez despite getting hurt multiple times. At his best, he’s arguably the best welterweight in the world, and does boast wins over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. Pacquiao is still very much relevant in the sport at 40 years old, and after a controversial defeat to Jeff Horn in 2017, he has since bounced back with a TKO of Lucas Matthysse last year and an easy decision over Adrien Broner back in January.
With Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter expected to fight this fall, it is extremely likely that the winner of Thurman-Pacquiao will face the winner of Spence-Porter next year in a title unification. I didn’t think I’d be saying this even a few months ago, but I am genuinely looking forward to this one, although the $74.99 PPV price tag may be off-putting to some.
The PPV undercard is actually compelling. Yordenis Ugas and Omar Figueroa meet in a welterweight title eliminator, Sergey Lipinets takes on John Molina in a guaranteed slugfest, and former bantamweight champions Luis Nery and Juan Carlos Payano square off in an important matchup in the division.
Preceding the PPV is a two-hour FOX broadcast, headlined by Caleb Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) in his IBF super-middleweight title defense against Mike Lee (21-0, 11 KOs), who is probably going to get smoked. The better fight is between heavyweight prospects Efe Ajagba (10-0, 9 KOs) and Ali Eren Demirezen (11-0, 10 KOs), as fireworks should be expected there.
Bloody Elbow will have full fight week coverage of Pacquiao vs. Thurman, including play-by-play, analysis, highlights, and much more.
PPV card (9 PM ET)
Keith Thurman vs. Manny Pacquiao
Yordenis Ugas vs. Omar Figueroa
Sergey Lipinets vs. John Molina Jr
Luis Nery vs. Juan Carlos Payano
FOX card (7 PM ET)
Caleb Plant vs. Mike Lee
Efe Ajagba vs. Ali Eren Demirezen