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Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman staff picks and predictions

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The Bloody Elbow staff has made its predictions for Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman, and most of us are backing the Filipino pugilistic great to hand the reigning WBA “super” welterweight champion his first professional loss. Stephie Haynes is going with Thurman, while Fraser Coffeen thinks we’ll see a draw. If you want to see the predictions from our colleagues at Bad Left Hook, check out the link below.

Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Phil Mackenzie entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman

Mookie Alexander: The Thurman who had a way too difficult win vs. Josesito Lopez is quite possibly going to get knocked out by Pacquiao. Frankly speaking, he tends to lose his composure a bit when opponents bring the fight to him (so to speak) and makes him fight at an uncomfortable pace. Shawn Porter fought at an incredible pace and uglied things up, and Thurman had to squeak past him on the scorecards, with his superior technique keying the win. I’ve also theorized that between the Porter and Luis Collazo bouts, Thurman doesn’t take body shots very well. On the other hand, he can win this at mid-range and work his counterpunching effectively, as he gets a bit sloppy throwing his power shots in rapid succession. Can he contend with Pacquiao’s still dangerous blitzes forward and his combination punching? I don’t think so. There’s also the chance that we get a cautious approach with Thurman weary of Pacquiao’s speed and flurries from his southpaw stance, while Pacquiao has to recognize that Thurman hits hard enough to compromise his chin, without being a devastating KO puncher. I’m actually looking forward to this one, which is something of a rarity for so many boxing PPVs lately. Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision.

Ram Gilboa: Manny Pacquiao is the only senator in any senate on earth, past or present, that I’ll pick to beat Keith Thurman in a boxing match. When Pacquiao started fighting – professionally – Thurman was six. And 25 years on, Pacquiao is an all-time great and is still in great form. Disregarding the Jeff Horn fight judges apparently all developing glaucoma on that momentous night – Pacman’s last loss was to a tactical Mayweather, in 2015. He’s been straight singeing world-beaters – and Jeff Horn – since losing to his kryptonite JMM in 2012. And while he can’t be the relentless frenetic Pacman of the decade before that, for 36 minutes straight, barely reined-in; he can still be that guy at bursts, at pivotal points. He now has experience to know when to amp it up and manage through the rest. If Keith Thurman would have fought a little bit more, been a little more active lately, I think he would have been able to assert himself early on and run away on the cards. But right now, I predict Pacquiao picks up a close and exacting yet clean cut win. Manny Pacquiao by Decision.

Lucas Bourdon: Pacquiao doesn’t have the legs of his twenties and he can’t push the pace as much as he did back then but he’s still fast, he’s still in great condition and he still finishes fights strong. I don’t think Thurman fights at a high enough pace himself to capitalize on Pacquiao’s age and he’s been susceptible to fading late in fights. I expect a competitive fight for the first two thirds and a strong finish by Pacquiao to take a close-ish but clear decision. Manny Pacquiao by Decision.

Fraser Coffeen: This is a super close fight that has become more interesting with each man’s last fights. Thurman looked rough against Josesito Lopez, while Pac looked great against Adrien Broner. But let’s be honest – looking great against Adrien Broner (and Lucas Matthysse) is not the same as looking great against Keith Thurman. Assuming Keith Thurman is still Keith Thurman, and after the Lopez fight, that’s not an assumption everyone feels comfortable making. I still think Thurman is the better fighter at this stage, and should be able to score a bit more. But I also don’t see either man really unloading, and this being a drawn out, point-by-point kind of affair. Which means judges. Which means nonsense, because seriously, when was the last time we had a big PPV fight that was even remotely close and the decision was fair and accurate? Assuming it’s close, the right business move is a draw to set up a rematch. Worked for GGG/Canelo, worked for Fury/Wilder. And sadly, boxing decisions in 2019 are about the right business move, not the actual winner of the fight. Controversial Draw.

Staff picking Pacquiao: Ed, Ram, Mookie, Lucas Bourdon
Staff picking Thurman: Stephie
Staff picking draw: Fraser

Poll

Who wins?

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    Pacquiao by KO

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    Thurman by KO

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    Pacquiao by decision

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    Thurman by decision

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    Draw

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