Thurman Returns To Ring After 22-Month Layoff
“It’s a beautiful moment to be back in the lovely sport of boxing,” that’s what WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman said before he faces Josesito Lopez at Barclays Center.
“I’m truly excited, me and my team, we’ve all been waiting for this comeback,” Thurman said regarding his 22-month layoff due to an injury to his elbow and his left hand. “We’ve trained ten weeks for this fight, and I’m ready to give Brooklyn and everyone watching a good show.”
In the time that Thurman has been away, the Florida native has not only been forced to give up the WBC title he earned against Danny Garcia in 2017, but was watching from afar, the seismic shift the sport has gone through with the loss of HBO.
“Since the last time I’ve been in the ring (March 2017), the sport has changed quite a bit,” Thurman told FIGHT SPORTS following Thursday’s official press conference. “Everyone knows that HBO after (45) years got out of the sport of boxing. ESPN is now signing fighters and paying out more money than HBO was paying. There’s so much happening in the sport of boxing for those who love the sport, and those who love the fight game.”
“Boxing is growing, boxing hasn’t gone anywhere, but I think there’s a lot for the fans to be excited for.”
One thing to be excited about is a possible WBA unification fight between the Thurman, and “regular champion” Manny Pacquiao.
And while on a conference call this week Thurman believed that it was 90% likely that Pacquiao’s next fight would be a rematch against Floyd Mayweather, but is hoping he gets a shot at the legendary fighter eventually.
“Pacquiao just fought and had a great performance at the age of 40,” Thurman said of the Manny’s win over Adrien Broner on January 19th. “He is the last living legend of the sport of boxing, and one of these young guns will have the opportunity to face him. It would be an opportunity to share the ring with a man like Manny Pacquiao, but I will always do my best to create my own legacy at 147.”
“The most important thing is to be a successful world-class fighter. Facing Manny Pacquiao can help make that dream come true, but at the end of the day, facing all of the champions we have (at welterweight). So it’s not about who we fight next, because I want to fight them all.”
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