Unbeaten welterweight champion Keith Thurman will get the chance to add a win over a legend to his resume July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena when he faces Manny Pacquiao.
The fighters will participate in a press tour starting Tuesday in New York to promote a Fox pay-per-view card that highlights the summer boxing schedule.
“Vegas: Get your tickets and popcorn for July 20th,” Thurman said through a representative Monday. “I plan on putting on a show and proving that I’m the best welterweight in the world.”
The 30-year-old Floridian has built a 29-0 record with 22 knockouts and now has the opportunity to significantly raise his profile with a win over Pacquiao, 40, an eight-division world champion with 61 wins in 70 career fights.
Pacquiao dominated Adrian Broner and retained his portion of the welterweight title in January. He will take on Thurman for the WBA belt.
“I’m excited and truly honored to face a legend like Manny Pacquiao,” Thurman said. “I’ve been wanting to face him for a long time and I feel like our styles will make this one a can’t-miss fight.”
Thurman is a minus-135 favorite in the bout at the Westgate sportsbook. He is coming off a majority decision over Josesito Lopez in January in his return after nearly two years of inactivity because of hand and elbow issues.
Pacquiao’s victory over Broner was his fourth in five bouts since losing to Floyd Mayweather in the most lucrative fight in boxing history. Mayweather and Pacquiao have flirted with a rematch, but Mayweather has so far elected to stay retired.
An upset win over Thurman could drive up Pacquiao’s value and make the rematch even more intriguing.
Unbeaten super middleweights Caleb Plant and Mike Lee will headline the undercard as they fight for Plant’s IBF title.