Tomorrow we'll see the WBA Welterweight title being unified as "regular" champion Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39) takes on "super" champion Keith Thurman (29-0-0-1, 22) at the MGM Grand. The bout is the highlight of the weekend and is clearly the most high profile bout of the next few weeks.
Today the two men took part in their weigh in for the bout and both men made weight with no issue.
After some initial mix up, with Pacquiao stepping on to the scales first but not being weighed, Thurman weighed in at 146.5lbs. He seemed confident, relaxed and like a fighter who was filled with self belief that this was his destiny. After years of calling for a big fight he had now landed one.
Pacquiao would then be weighed, after the earlier faux pas, and would himself weigh in at 146.5lbs and he looked his usual calm self, smiling for the cameras, as opposed to Thurman who looked a touch overly serious.
Both men looked in amazing condition, and although there was obvious age difference between the two, and wear and tear, both looked really up for tomorrows bout.
Related - Pacquiao looks to add Thurman's name to legendary resume!
Earlier today the former WBO Asia Pacific Welterweight champion Jayar Inson (18-2, 12)was given the bigger opportunity of his career, as he landed a surprise chance on tomorrow's card headlined by Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39) and Keith Thurman (29-0-0-1, 22).
The exciting Inson has been put on to the show at the 11th hour to face former world champion Sergey Lipinet's (15-1, 11), in what could end up being a fight of the night contender. Inson has got the opportunity due to Lipinet's original opponent, John Molina Jr (30-8, 24), pulling out today with a back injury.
Although Inson has gotten this bout late it is worth noting that the Filipino was already scheduled for the show, albeit in a much lesser bout against Mahonri Montes (35-9-1, 24). Whilst the change of opponent is a drastic one, Inson should be in good shape and hungry to prove a point, and prove that he shouldn't have been overlooked for the card originally.
Whilst relatively unknown outside of Asia, in fact Inson is 0-2 outside outside of the region, he is seen as a dangerous fight on regional scene, and has notched notable wins in Japan, against Ryota Yada, and Malaysia, against Terry Tzouramanis. He will also be coming in to this bout on the back a loss on his US debut, a split decision defeat to Jonathan Steele back in January, on the under-card of Manny Pacquiao's win over Adrien Broner.
After weeks of speculation it's now been confirmed that Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39) will be back in the ring on July 20th to face off with unbeaten American Keith Thurman (29-0-0-1, 22), in a bout to unify the WBA "regular" and "Super" titles.
The bout, which hasn't yet had a venue announced for it, will be available on Fox Sports PPV in the US and will be Pacquiao's second bout under the PBC banner, following his January win over Adrien Broner. At the age of 40 it's hard to know when father time will truly catch up with Pacquiao, though he did still look pretty good last time out.
Thurman, who beat Josesito Lopez a week after Pacquiao's win over Broner, will be fighting for just the second time in over 2 years. The 30 year old is becoming a bit of a forgotten figure, thanks to the rise of Errol Spence, so will know he needs to look really good here after his inactivity.
At the moment there hasn't been any announcements about the under-card, though their was a rumour that WBC "interim" Bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (13-0, 3) [井上 拓真] could have his WBC unification bout with Nordine Oubaali (15-0, 11) on this show.
Earlier today former American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr was in Japan, and took some time to speak to the Japanese press.
The hugely talented former fighter revealed a number of things including that that he was planning to do an event in Japan before the end of the year. He stated "I will become the number one promoter in Japan" and that "There is a big chance for casinos in Japan from now on. We want to enliven Tokyo like Las Vegas and do a super fight. We will do martial arts events including boxing and MMA with TMT, and we will also take part in exhibitions."
Interestingly one man linked to a possible exhibition with Mayweather was 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata (14-2, 11) [村田 諒太], whilst one man that Mayweather doesn't seem likely to face is Manny Pacquiao. In regards to a bout with the Filipino the American stated "I won once and there are fans that aren't convinced, but I'm already retired. It's been a year of each other and I'm basically not doing it." This is however boxing and with both men featuring in notable stories today the rematch between the two will continue to be spoken about between fans and the media alike.
(Image courtesy of Nikkan Sports, Photographer Shoichi Ohno)
Earlier today Japanese combat sports organisation RIZIN held a press conference and announced that Filipino fighter Manny Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39) would be featuring on their next big show, RIZIN 15 on April 21st.
Pacquiao's appearance on the card isn't anything major, and won't mirror that of Floyd Mayweather who appeared on RIZIN's end of year show last December. Instead of an exhibition the Filipino will feature as an ambassador, and will be there to help build up the links between RIZIN and the Philippines.
Pacquiao, via a video message, stated "I hope I can fight in the ring of RIZIN someday." Whether that happens or not it yet to be seen, but it is clear that RIZIN are happy to work with boxers, and are looking to appeal to boxing fans, having now linked up with two of the biggest boxing names of the last 20 years.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
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