Keith Thurman’s message to Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday was short, simple and strong.
“Game over,” said Thurman.
The undefeated 30-year-old came to the grand arrival ceremony wearing a black shirt with those words written out loud.
“I ain’t changing my motto,” the WBA “super”welterweight champion told the crowd that packed the main lobby of the MGM Grand.
Since the fight promo took off a couple of months ago, Thurman had said again and again he would retire Pacquiao.
“You want to make history? You destroy Manny Pacquiao,” he said.
The Filipino superstar is turning 41 in December. But he’s out to prove he’s not about ready to call it a day.
He may be too old to be the face of boxing. But a victory over Thurman, now the underdog, will make a lot of people think twice.
Pacquiao believes it will take more than a fighter like Thurman to put him into retirement.
“It’s easy to say but hard to prove. We’ll see,” he said.
The crowd reaction to the arrival of the main protagonists on Saturday was a clear indication who the favorite is.
Thurman came in first – amid cheers and some jeers. He had no trouble getting up the stage. Then he tickled the crowd.
“It’s game over. It’s game over,” he said, pointing to his shirt.
“This is dream come true. Saturday night I’m going to live the moment to the fullest and I’m going to be victorious,” said Thurman, who’s 29-0.
“I’m the real deal and Manny Pacquiao is going to feel it,” he said.
More jeers from the Pacquiao crowd.
Pacquiao’s entrance was far different. The crowd got louder. He came in shielded by four bodyguards the size of NFL players.
On stage, the fighting senator said he’s thrilled to return to Vegas, and fight at the MGM Grand for the 15th time.
“What he’s saying is not helping him. It’s helping me because it motivates me,” said Pacquiao, not in the mood to talk trash.
Pacquiao wore a white shirt, which bore his name, joggers and running shoes, and a diamond-laced Audemars Piguet watch worth millions of pesos.
On stage, he had nothing much to say.— Source: Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star)