Keith Thurman Believes He’ll Resume Control of the Welterweight Division in 2022!
Over the past few years, the boxing world has seen remarkably little action from former unified welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s). This has been rather regrettable considering he is one of the most exciting fighters in the welterweight division. Roughly a year and a half has passed since his last prizefight against living legend Manny Pacquiao. That last duel also served as his only professional loss.
Due to his long absence from the sport, along with a two-year gap from 2017 to 2019, many wondered if Thurman was still committed to the sport. Yet, in a recent interview on the Last Stand Podcast with Brian Custer, One Time assured that he remains fully dedicated to the craft that he loves. Going a step further, however, Thurman did give a loose outline of the variables that kept him away from the ring.
“Well the main blame is COVID, the second main blame is I had one small opportunity to hop into a fight. And it could have been a legitimate tune-up fight, it was without fans. It was when they just started PBC back in. I got the phone call, ‘do you want to do an in-studio fight,’ and I was timid. I was timid to jump on that boat and then after that boat sailed, I didn’t get a phone call again.
“[… ] I was trying to get back in the last quarter of last year and I worked the Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas, came home with COVID. So that set me back that I couldn’t take a November/December date. I got pushed more to January and we fell upon February 5, so that’s really to round everything up.”
IT’S MY TIME…AGAIN!
In what now seems like the distant past, Thurman was unquestionably the man to beat at 147. Then injury repeatedly struck and initially caused him to spend an obscene amount of time on the sidelines. With his ailments mended and COVID trials and tribulations behind him, One Time is eagerly looking forward to reestablishing his dominance in the division. Beyond this, the skilled Floridian is hopeful and confident that this will be a breakout year for his career.
“But you know me, I like to make great fights. I like to make big fights, exciting fights. And, of course I have this February 5 and then from there the sky is the limit! I believe that this year, finally, Keith Thurman can do what Keith Thurman does best and bring some exciting fights back to the welterweight division.”
“[…] I believe that this year, 2022, I believe this is the year that we have an opportunity to bring all the champions together. And I might not be a champion, but I am going to reestablish myself in position to fight these champions. Especially the undefeated champions like [Terence] Bud Crawford and Errol Spence! I want to be the one to defeat them! Or, at least put on one of the most exciting fights of the year! This is what I do!”
Only time will tell if Keith Thurman enjoys the year he plans on having, but win, lose or draw it should be a grand time watching him back in the ring. Before he can topple the champions, however, he must first get by former regular WBA junior welterweight champion Mario Barrios on February 5.
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By: Bakari Simpson