It could be make or break for Manny Pacquiao as he enters the ring for his 71st professional fight to contest the welterweight world championship on Saturday night.
Victory in Las Vegas would take the 40-year-old Philippine Senator's record to 62 wins (seven defeats, two draws) and potentially set up a bout with Amir Khan in Saudi Arabia later this year.
Opinions are split, though, as he faces American Kieth Thurman, the undefeated WBA super-welterweight champion (29 wins, 22 by knockout) ten years his junior. Just over half the 46 boxers polled by the fight's promoters predict a Pacquiao win, but 19 are backing his hard-punching opponent and three have gone for a draw.
There's certainly no lack of confidence on Thurman's part, as he looks to further his own legacy by potentially ending his opponent's illustrious career. "Manny isn't going to do anything," says the American. "With the little T-Rex arms. He's about to get beat up."
This isn't a fight you're likely to want to miss, so we've put together the guide below detailing how to watch wherever you are in the world.
When is the fight?
The fight will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday 20 July, with the five-bout undercard set to start at 9pm ET, 6pm PT – so that'll be 1am GMT on Sunday morning.
Pacquiao and Thurman will walk to the ring for the headline fight somewhere between three and four hours later, so don't expect to be in bed early.
How to watch using a VPN
The fight is showing live via pay-per-view in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, but trying to access streams from outside the above territories is a problem. These services know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access – even if you’re a national of one of these countries.
So, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
VPNs are as useful for banking as they are at trying to watch video content or access websites that people in your location are not supposed to do. So, whether you want to watch Pacquiao's return to the ring, enjoy another country’s Netflix library or just keep your browsing data private, then they’re well worth considering.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service and would recommend the following:
- NordVPN (opens in new tab)
Which comes in at as little as £2.29 per month and features 24/7 assistance
- ExpressVPN (opens in new tab)
Has a free 3 month trial (which should be enough even if the Great British weather is decidedly un-great) and brings VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets.
Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the fight. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.
How to watch in the US and Canada
The whole card will be shown live in the US on Fox Sports PPV (opens in new tab). Shelling out $74.99, plus local taxes, will allow you to watch the fight online or on TV.
You will also be able to catch it in both the US and Canada for the same price as above via specialist combat sport channel Fite TV (opens in new tab).
How to watch in the UK
Unfortunately for Pacquiao fans in the UK, this fight will not be free to watch as his last one was. Exclusive rights do still go to ITV, though, with the bout costing £12.95 to purchase from ITV Box Office (opens in new tab) and coverage beginning at 2am.
Again, Fite TV (opens in new tab) is available in the UK with the same £12.95 price tag.
How to watch in Australia
Australian viewers can catch a lie-in and still see the entire card on Sunday morning, with the action set to begin at 11am AEST. It'll cost $49.95 to purchase the fight from exclusive broadcasters Main Event (opens in new tab), though that does also include replays at 6pm and 12am the following day.