Keith “One Time” Thurman has been firm in his claim that he will retire Manny Pacquiao the same way the Filipino champion did when he forced Oscar dela Hoya out of the sport.
But the 40-year-old Pacquiao disagreed, citing he works a lot harder than Dela Hoya.
“I told him I’m not Oscar De La Hoya,” Pacquiao said in an article posted on BoxingScene.com.
Pacquiao soundly beat Dela Hoya in 2008 at a time when the American legend was relatively inactive in boxing and was already busy establishing his Golden Boy Promotions.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, remains active in boxing despite his work as a senator.
“I’m different than (De La Hoya). The way I work hard, the way I prepare for my fight, I’m still motivated. The desire is still there 100 percent,” he said.
Pacquiao added that he picked to fight Thurman because of the challenge he poses in the ring.
“All my life I have confronted challenges -- in life, in politics, and inside the ring,” he said in a previous article.
“Keith Thurman is the type of challenge I crave as a fighter. He is the biggest and best test. That is why I want to fight him. We are going to give boxing fans an exciting fight and a great night.”
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s former head coach, Freddie Roach, is aware of the dangers posed by Thurman.
But he pointed out that it’s a winnable fight for Pacquiao.
“We do have a tough fight in front of us. It's a winnable fight but Pacquiao's speed should be too much for him, All Manny has to do is pretty much let his hands go a little bit more,” Roach said in a story posted on SportingNews.com.
Pacquiao and Thurman will square off on July 20 in Las Vegas to determine who becomes the undisputed WBA welterweight champion.
Pacquiao currently owns the "regular" version of the belt, while Thurman reigns as the WBA "super" welterweight champion.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)