Here are the predictions from a mix of boxing legends, current and former champions and contenders, plus some of the most renowned trainers in the sport:
Thomas Hearns, former five-division champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao has the better skills and the experience overall in comparison to Keith Thurman, and I see Manny winning a decision by just out-boxing him.
Deontay Wilder, WBC Heavyweight Champion
Pick: Thurman SD 12. I like both fighters and what they’ve been able to achieve. Manny Pacquiao’s a legend who still is among the world’s best fighters despite his age and having to overcome so many ups and downs. But I’m going with Keith Thurman on a split-decision in this one based on his youth and mentality. People are talking about Keith’s last fight against Josesito Lopez, but he feels like he’s the best, and that he’s not going to let anyone take that away from him.
Roy Jones Jr., Former Three-Division World Champion
Pick: Pacquiao W12: I’m going to go with Pacquiao because he’s the older and therefore more experienced fighter.
Errol Spence Jr., IBF Welterweight Champion
Pick: Thurman SD 12. It just depends on which Pacquiao shows up and which Keith shows up. I think Keith will be a lot sharper than he was in his last fight. You know he had a long layoff and is just coming back. Keith is a lot tougher than people think he is. He took a lot of punches in that last fight. He took a lot of punches in the Shawn Porter fight, too. He might be a boxer, but he’s tough and he’s gritty, so I think he’s going to win a split-decision or he’s going to blow him out. It just depends on which Pacquiao comes out. If he can turn the tables a little bit and become the Pacquiao of back then, I think he can win. But if it’s the Pacquiao that fought Broner, then I think Keith will edge him out and outpoint him. Keith can get on his bicycle and move around and just pot shot him. I think Keith will edge it out.
Sugar Ray Leonard, former five-division world champion
Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman has a ton of talent, power and speed. I like him to win.
Gerry Cooney, former heavyweight title contender
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Manny Pacquiao’s been a phenom, but age has been creeping up on him. Thurman’s gonna try to box and use his power, and Manny’s been knocked out before. It’s a 50-50 fight, but I’m going with Pacquiao, who is really awkward and fast, to win a decision.
Shane Mosley, former three-division world champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I think that Pacquiao is going to win because of the experience, the speed and his power.
Shawn Porter, WBC Welterweight Champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Manny Pacquiao, who still has the hunger, several levels of competitive spirit and quickness out of that southpaw stance that’s hard to game plan for. Keith Thurman’s young but coming off of a very long layoff and a level of relaxation and comfort that makes it difficult for me to see him being ready for this fight. I don’t think Keith’s body will be able to withstand what’s going to come during those championship rounds. Pacquiao weathers the early storm and wins a decision.
Andy Ruiz Jr., Unified Heavyweight World Champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. I’m going with Pacquiao because of his speed and aggressiveness.
Mikey Garcia, four-division world champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12. Ultimately Manny’s footwork, hand-speed, combinations and volume punching will carry him throughout the rounds. Keith Thurman has the power to win it, and he’s very dangerous for that power, but he’s not a better fighter, overall, than Manny. I think Manny takes it.
Julian Williams, WBA & IBF 154-pound World Champion
Pick: Thurman SD 12. Manny’s always super-competitive and I believe we’ll see a hungrier and more determined Manny Pacquiao than the one who beat Adrien Broner. Manny may even be able to hurt Keith Thurman as he does everybody, but I believe Keith Thurman will have too much youth for him. Keith may not look great, but I’m going with Keith to win a close decision.
Derrick James, trainer of welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. and former champion Jermell Charlo
Pick: Thurman W 12. I think Keith Thurman’s gonna beat Manny Pacquiao by a decision as long as he can do what he did for the first seven rounds against Josesito Lopez for 12 rounds against Pacquiao. Keith’s consistency will win the fight.
Leo Santa Cruz, WBA Featherweight World Champion
Pick: Thurman W 12: I feel that Keith Thurman is going to win because he’s younger.
Roberto Duran, former four-division world champion
Pick: Pacquiao W 12: Manny Pacquiao is very tough and for me, he is going to win this fight.
Robert Garcia, trainer of former four-division champion Mikey Garcia, contender Josesito Lopez
Pick: Thurman W 12. Keith Thurman is strong, solid and smart in the ring, and he has youth on his side, so I see him winning a unanimous decision. I would no doubt pick Manny Pacquiao if this was four or five years ago the way he was dominating, but with him being at the age of 40, that’s hard for me to do.
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