One of the biggest fights this year is almost here, as Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman is set to take place tonight at the MGM Grand. Both fighters have talked up the fight and now are set to see who will come out on top. With a big fight like this, you hear predictions from all over the sport, but one person gets them right more than most and I had a chance to speak to him before this highly anticipated encounter.
In part 2 of my interview with boxing trainer ‘Iceman’ John Scully, I get his detailed thoughts on this upcoming match up and his views on both fighters. Scully talks about what Manny Pacquiao has left at his age and talks about a potential Pacquiao-Crawford bout. Additionally, John talks about one of the fighters he has worked with over the last few years, Artur Beterbiev. Here is what John Scully had to say.
Robert Brown: The big fight between Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman is this weekend, how do you see this fight shaping up?
John Scully: A few years ago I would have picked Thurman, but at this point he is a huge question mark and I think right now Pacquiao is in a better place physically and mentally and I would expect him to be favored by real boxing people. That’s how I would see it.
Timing is everything in boxing, they do the fights at certain times for certain guys. A few years ago, they probably would not have fought Thurman, but now with Thurman and the layoff, coming back and looking a little bit vulnerable, they want to fight him. I understand that because at the end of the day you see the record on paper if he beats Thurman that’s all your going to see that Pacquiao beat Thurman. There is no asterisk next to it, so the timing is probably right.
Robert Brown: Do you think if Pacquiao beats Thurman that he will look to have a fight with Terence Crawford or do you think he will try to string it out longer with other fights to make more cash?
John Scully: You would think with most guys, they would try and get the cash, that would be smart. There still are guys that are good that he could fight, but knowing him I would not be surprised at all if he tried Crawford. I think he’s that type of guy, I think he would rather fight Crawford and lose than not fight him at all and have people think he was scared.
Robert Brown: Back to the Pacquiao-Thurman bout. Who would you be favoring in this fight?
John Scully: If I had to bet money on it, I think at this moment I would pick Pacquiao.
Robert Brown: Artur Beterbiev fought recently and got an early stoppage. Which one of the champions would you like to see Artur in with?
John Scully: I mean personally, from what I gather, I would think he would want to fight Kovalev. Because they have a history together and I think on a personal level I think Artur feels like that’s the fight that would give him the recognition that he deserves.
Personally, I think it’s going to happen soon, within the next two fights because these guys are in their 30’s and there both with Top Rank, so the fight is easy to make, it would sell itself and I think it will be a big fight and I think it will be very dynamic.