Thurman Focused on Life, January Comeback
Keith Thurman will be returning to the ring on Jan. 26, defending his WBA (Super) Welterweight Title against Josesito Lopez. It will be Thurman’s first fight since a March 2017 WBA/WBC Title Unification win against Danny Garcia — and the first fight since putting to bed, Thurman hopes, a string of injuries that’s held him back.
Since the start of 2016, the undefeated champion has dealt with injuries to his neck, back, right elbow and left hand. The injuries forced him to just two fights between 2016 and now (a June 2016 title defense against Shawn Porter and the March 2017 Thurman fight).
And despite the injuries, Thurman is looking forward to marching on with his boxing career, the same grit and determination his former trainer, the late Ben Getty, installed in him. Getty passed away in 2009 at the age of 63.
“I was raised by a soldier, Ben Getty. Chop off an arm, chop off a leg, if I’m not dead, we’re moving forward,” Thurman said. “That’s where all of my confidence comes from is Getty, and just really knowing the type of warrior that I am. When I fight, I fight to win, and that’s why your boy is, ‘and still’ champion.”
Thurman began training with Getty at the young age of seven. The trainer, who has worked with boxing legends like Sugar Ray Leonard, led Thurman to over 100 amateur victories and six national championships.
“After Ben died, Keith was devastated because he was like a second father,” Thurman’s present trainer, Dan Birmingham said. “Keith called me the next day and asked me if I would take over, and I said, ‘Of course I’ll take over.'”
Birmingham had his own close call with health issues, being hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia after Thurman improved to 19-0 with a November 2012 win against Carlos Quintana.
“Anytime people come through a close call, it always makes you reflect,” Thurman said. “For the most part, I just look at life as a journey, reflecting on my entire boxing career, the type of fighter I’ve been, all that I am today and will be in the future. Tomorrow’s not guaranteed, so everything now is a blessing.”
Original Story: Boxing Scene