Almost two years after his split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Keith Thurman is now raising some doubts as to whether Pacquiao’s winning effort was entirely clean and PEDs-free.
When asked in a recent interview about the words of trainer/broadcaster Teddy Atlas, who overtly hinted at Pacquiao possibly being dirty for that fight, Thurman appeared to jump at the opening to hint at his own claim.
“Listen, I did not regulate any form of testing in that fight,” Thurman told World Boxing News. “He did do the majority of his training camp in the Philippines, and his hands felt like cement, so, Teddy, you tell me! My focus is on how to train and show up. Teddy sounds like he knows a few more things about the industry than I do. My question is – What do you have to do to beat Keith Thurman?”
The Hall of Fame trainer, Atlas, said the following in his podcast, after the Pacquiao-Thurman bout, strongly hinting at something dubious about Pacquiao:
“The only damn thing I want to know is,” Atlas asked, after using a car analogy and referring to Pacquiao as a Ferrari, “What the hell kind of gas was he putting in? What kind of gas is he taking?”
Atlas, who has cast aspersions on Pacquiao’s clean fighter status in the past, would also make comments regarding Pacquiao being on the “forbidden fruit” and hinted about the Filipino fighter being juiced on an ESPN post-fight wrap up following the contest.
But with all of this bluster and insinuation, there’s also a heaping dose of hypocrisy coming from Thurman. Back when it mattered– before the fight– the former welterweight champ told media that he was fine with the level of pre-fight testing and was confident that Manny would be entering the ring clean.
“It was never a big issue,” Thurman said following the fighters’ grand arrivals at MGM Grand in 2019. “They came into camp. There was some drug testing. It doesn’t bother me. However they coordinate it, I accept it. I’m a world champion. I always box clean, fight clean, test clean, and I’m very proud of that. I’m not worried about Manny Pacquiao at the age of 40.
“We’ve been on his [Instagram page]. We’ve watched his performances. We see everything. He doesn’t look 15 years younger. I believe that he’s a professional athlete that is true to the sport. There will be testing before and after the fight, just like every world-class boxing event. It’s just not a thing to worry about.”
Thurman would also insist that nothing looks shady with Manny and that the multi-division world champ didn’t “look anything out of the norm.”
Again, all of this was when it actually mattered– two years ago..and before the fight.
Thurman, who hasn’t fought since taking that loss to Pacquiao (and who had only fought once in the two years prior to that), has been opening up to media lately, possibly paving the way for his return to the ring this year. In recent days, he’s indicated that his comeback is imminent and that he plans on targeting the very best in the welterweight division so he can reclaim his top spot among the 147 lb. class.
That’s all fine and dandy. And everyone who’s seen and heard from Thurman before knows that he talks a great game with the media that, sometimes, is not always reality-based. But the man is certainly entitled to self-promotion and self-hype.
What he’s NOT entitled to, however, is rewriting history. He’s not entitled to go back two years to pull credit from the man who beat him– after having told everyone before the fight that everything was on the up and up.