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Why Morales, Barrera root for Pacquiao over unbeaten Keith Thurman
By Leo Reyes
Sat, 20 Jul 2019
Ex-Pacquiao foes Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera believe that despite Manny Pacquiao’s age (he turned 40 last Dec. 17), the eight-division world champ will emerge victorious over unbeaten Keith Thurman when they clash on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) at the MGM Grand in Paradise, Nevada.
Pacquiao wants to prove that he can still beat the best fighter in his weight class with his undiminished stamina, speed and power. The 40-year-old fighting senator from the Philippines is also capitalizing on his experience and skill to spoil Thurman’s 29-fight winning streak.
Thurman, who is undefeated in 30 fights since he turned pro in 2007 is 30 years old with few inches advantage in height and reach.
Both Morales and Barrera predict Pacquiao will either win by KO or decision depending on what Thurman will bring to the table on Saturday night.
The two ex-Pacquiao foes are in Las Vegas, Nevada and were guest at a roundtable media interview leading to the weekend boxing event.
L-R: Boxing greats Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Winky Wright and Shawn Porter.
For Morales, who fought Pacquiao three times in his pro career, the Filipino boxing star is formidable opponent and for Thurman to score, he needs to bring out a “technical fight.” “That’s what Thurman have to do”, Morales said.
The former four-division world champ said he won their first fight against Pacquiao because he put up a technical fight.
Morales, who like Pacquiao has been elected congressman in his native Mexico, believes Pacquiao will win by decision or KO in the late rounds.
“It’s either gonna be decision or maybe a late knockout by Pacquiao,” said the 42-year-old Morales, who fought Pacquiao toe-to-toe in their trilogy fight.
For Barrera, who has surpassed Pacquiao’s career fight, having fought 75 fights against Pacquiao’s 70 to date, says Pacquiao is a tough foe.
“Psychologically, fighting Pacquiao is tough,” said Barrera, who is widely known for his trilogy with Morales and his fights against Pacquiao, says it will be Pacquiao by decision.
“I think Manny Pacquiao by decision, but we always have to take into account the (fight) plan that Thurman has,” he stressed. “It could play a part,“ he added.
Morales and Barrera have retired from the sport before reaching 40 and they don’t know exactly how it feels to be fighting championship matches at this age.
But they think Pacquiao is still competitive at his age as both of them predict that the fighting senator will win over Thurman, who is 10 years his junior.
Morales retired at 36 while Barrera at 37. Both of them have not experienced fighting past their retirement age against young and unbeaten challengers like Thurman.
But from what they have seen and observed from Pacquiao’s preparation for this fight and from their past ring encounters with him, they are convinced that 40-year-old fighter of the decade will emerge victorious against the young and unbeaten challenger.
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