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Pacquiao or Thurman? Tossup shaping up.

No way Heinz ketchup can compare with crucifixion. But the famous boxing trainer Freddie Roach hit it hot in referring to the slurpy food condiment to belittle WBA super welterweight champion Keith Thurman.

Thurman did say he would crucify Pacquiao, dismantle and retire him in their July 20 fight.

That surely raised Pacquiao's hackles and pushed the fighting Filipino senator to hit the limit in training.

The crucifixion taunt also did its part in pegging Pacquiao an early underdog in the awaited WBA welterweight unification clash in Las Vegas.

Truth is Pacquiao has skipped the trash talk lane ahead, thereby leaving Thurman to do the selling (of the championship).

Pacquiao has also taken over as new fight favorite, based on latest sports book listings.

The Pacquiao takeover coincided with Roach's latest colorful verbal jab on Thurman.

Using a white menu board, Roach declared 'Thurman is slower than Heinz ketchup. Manny will beat him 57 ways on July 20th.'

There's no turning back; the fiery give-and-take is sure to heighten interest in the Pacquiao-Thurman rivalry.

It won't come as a surprise if the odds come up even on the way to the fight proper, now being advertised as the biggest boxing event of the period.

For the first time, Thurman has openly admitted he was not as strong and good as he had wished in his last fight in January.

Roach has used that shaky struggle by Thurman against Josesito Lopez to belittle and zero in on Thurman's inferiority.

Thurman conceded he was not himself against Lopez last time out, but at the same time vowed to play the perfect champion's role on July 20.

'Pacquiao's style was never a good style against my style,' Thurman said. 'I plan to go toe-to-toe in testing him.'

Thurman, bigger and younger, stressed he will be looking for a knockout.

Meanwhile, an overweight Thurman had been observed to be struggling in the early phase of training.

He's reportedly being handled by a famous American football strength and conditioning coach.

Pacquiao on the other hand, has been described to be in superb form.

Roach said superior leg power will be a key, thereby promising a sustained blazing offensive from Pacquiao.

Manny will dazzle and Thurman will fizzle, Roach cried.

The only hotdog Manny talks about in this fight is Keith Thurman, Roach added.

With all the fireworks, Thurman said he can't see how the fight won't live up the hype.

'Let's see if Pacquiao can survive!'

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jul 6, 2019
Words:511
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