Thurman: Hand Is Still Not 100% For Return Fight

Keith Thurman returns to put his WBO welterweight championship on the line against Josesito Lopez for the first time in 22 months.

For Thurman the time between his unification win over Danny Garcia and his return to Barclays Center has been mired in injury and being stripped of his WBC title.

“After elbow surgery (in May ’17 after beating Garcia) I kept pressing my doctor to give me a turnaround date,” Thurman (28-0, 23KOs) noted during a media conference call of the lengthy physical rehabilitation process. “I was like ‘How long, doc, how long?’ He was pretty clever with his wording. He never gave a real date in all those words he used.

“It was like six months after the surgery and it still wasn’t healed. So then it was more like 10-12 months (until a hoped-for return). I spent a lot of time with my (new) wife. I was surrounded by her family and was able to cope with that.”

Thurman would have more bad luck come his way after breaking his hand while working out for a comeback in 2018, further frustrating the welterweight titleholder.

“When I was able to get back I the ring and suffered another injury to my left hand, I was like like, ‘This is not fun; I wish someone could tell me when I would be back,’” Thurman said of his more recent injury. “It was just very frustrating for me. I just wanted to have a fight date.

“I wanted to be able to get back in the ring. The doctors told me I wouldn’t be out forever. It just felt like forever for me. I feel like this is a real comeback fight for myself. Josesito Lopez is moving up, he has a new trainer, he has new talents a great deal of confidence.”

“The hand is a little bit… the doctor told me it may need monitoring throughout my whole career,” Thurman said of the left hand he fractured in 2018. “Fighters go through that.”

“Even if we have to do little things like monitor it, I will stay positive. There are many ways to get to the finish line in a championship fight. I didn’t knock out Shawn, I didn’t knock out Danny. At the end of the day, I’m always going to stay confident.”

Quotes transcribed by Boxing Scene

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