With that, Clearwater's very own Keith 'One Time' Thurman will be fighting the legendary 8-weight class champion Manny Pacquiao in a WBA belt unification match at MGM Grand in Las Vegas tonight 7/20, available to our viewers on FOX Sports PPV.
Although you should always support the hometown favorite, I have to tell you that there are some very serious concerns over Thurman's readiness for the fight. Just 2 nights ago -- or maybe I should say 'yesterday morning' -- Keith was spotted in the MGM casino at 2am (he was spotted out and about on the casino floor just 24 hours prior also). In comparison, for the last 3 nights, Manny has held 1-hour prayer services within MGM Garden Arena and last night's Cirque Du Soleil's Ka Theatre.
Thurman has been saying for weeks in efforts to appease the press against his fight with the fighting senator from the Philippines, 'It only takes one-time.' Our thoughts are that you also only get 'one time': this will be Keith's first pay per view fight (while Senator Pacman has had 15). Keith's being spotted on the gambling floors apparently didn't sit too well with the Vegas bookies either, because Thurman went from being the one favored to win this bout, to now being a +160 underdog, an uptick of +10 from just yesterday.
Pacquiao has significantly reduced his fan visitation this week in Vegas. For previous fights, it was relatively easy for fans to get fairly close to Manny. This week? His suite is on lockdown and basically it is only his family who is seeing him. A smiling Manny is a very dangerous Manny, and Pacquiao is feeding off of Thurman's trash-talking, which is further motivating the senator to focus even that much harder. But to that point, Manny has been smiling from ear-to-ear the past 48 hours, and Thurman continues the insults. Additionally, regarding those prayer services: inside those events, Manny basically has every Filipino in Las Vegas praying for him to do well.
Good luck to both fighters tonight. Make the most of this opportunity, Keith. Hopefully 'one time' isn't also the 'last time.'