Keith Thurman
Wendell Rupert Alinea/MP Promotions
Keith Thurman will exploit this key Manny Pacquiao disadvantage
Dino Maragay (Philstar.com) - July 18, 2019 - 3:38am

LAS VEGAS – Keith Thurman is confident he will be able to hit and hurt even a fast Manny Pacquiao when they lock horns in their WBA welterweight title showdown Saturday (Sunday Manila time).

The key for Thurman? Pacquiao’s shorter reach.

“The advantage (for me) is he (Pacquiao) does have short arms,” Thurman told reporters after making his grand arrival at the MGM Grand here Tuesday (Wednesday Manila time).

Pacquiao has a 67-inch reach compared to Thurman, who has a longer reach at 69 inches. The Filipino icon is likewise shorter by two inches than the 5-foot-7 fighter from Clearwater Florida.

In one of his verbal jabs at Pacquiao, Thurman mocked his upcoming foe’s arms by comparing it to those of a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur.

Thurman said those short arms will inevitably leave Pacquiao vulnerable after an offensive move. 

“So if he wants to hit me, he has to be in the zone where I can hit him,” he added.

Thurman, though, is wary about how Pacquiao will make up for having a shorter reach.

“He has utilized a tactic throughout his career that's also very fast. And that is his in-and-out movement, his speed,” the reigning WBA "super" welterweight champion explained.

Thurman is spot on, as Pacquiao had polished his footwork throughout his two-month training camp. In sparring, the fighting congressman had been seen employing a “zigzagging” move in an effort to find openings and close in on his opponent.

“Ultimately it could be a problem. He might slip in a few good punches. He might catch me off guard,” Thurman admitted.

“Not only does Manny Pacquiao have fast hand work, he also has fast foot work.”

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