Thurman: “No Way I’d Have Turned Manny Down”
Keith Thurman had no idea that his second fight after a two-year layoff would be against Manny Pacquiao.
“We had no clue when I got back in the sport that a fight like this would happen this quickly,” Thurman said in an interview with BoxingScene.com of his July 20th pay-per-view fight with the Filipino senator. “There was no guarantee that I would get this fight. I was just ready to return after losing two years of my prime.
“It wasn’t like I was in secret training, working on some Bruce Lee 6” punch that I wanted to show the world. When I came back, we let everyone know you’re going to see a world class performance from Keith Thurman because I’m a world class fighter. I didn’t promise the best Keith Thurman because I was still wiping off some of that (dust). But if that’s what helped me land a fight like this, I’ll take it.”
“I told everyone (late last year) when I was ready to return to the sport what my 2019 was going to be about,” Thurman said of looking to build back to major opponents, starting off against Josesito Lopez, who would give the champion more of a challenged then be bargained for. “There wasn’t going to be a fight with Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter—two guys I already beat, by the way—or Errol Spence in 2019. It was about returning to the sport, then building towards the superfights in 2020.”
“But when they put me on the week after Manny Pacquiao, I felt like we were on the same (timetable), we both just fought so we should both be ready. When they offered me the fight, I couldn’t say no. No other welterweight in the world would let another take their place against Manny Pacquiao. It almost makes up for the inactivity these past two years.”
Initial Report: Boxing Scene