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Arum: “I don’t think Keith Thurman can fight anymore”

Image: Arum: "I don't think Keith Thurman can fight anymore"

By Sean Jones: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he thinks Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is past his prime, and can no longer fight anymore after seeing him labor to an unimpressive 12 round majority decision last Saturday night against Josesito ‘The Riverside Rocky’ Lopez (36-8, 19 KOs).

Arum says the 34-year-old Lopez isn’t an elite fighter, and he arguably could have knocked Thurman out in the 7th round after he had him badly hurt. The referee Steve Willis let Thurman, 30, stay in there without stopping the fight, but he took some major shots. Many boxing fans wondered why the fight wasn’t stopped in the seventh, because Thurman was clearly defenseless and taking massive punishment. After the fight, Thurman looked like he’d a beating. Both eyes were blackened, and his face reddened and lumped up. You have to believe that most of the damage to Thurman’s face and eyes took place in the 7th round after he was hurt.

Two years out of the ring seems to have eroded Thurman’s physical boxing skills to the point where he’s no longer the same fighter he once was, and he’s not likely going to ever get back to that level.

“Well I don’t think Keith Thurman can fight anymore. I thought he was awful with Lopez,” Thurman said to Fighthub. “I mean let’s be honest about it: Lopez is not an elite fighter, never was an elite fighter, and he had Thurman out of there in the 7th round. And you know Lopez is not known for knocking anybody out, and the referee could’ve very well stopped the fight in that round.”

Lopez isn’t considered a big puncher, and he’s viewed as being in the same talent class as the likes of Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. The way that Lopez was able to get to Thurman repeatedly throughout the fight doesn’t instill confidence in him when it comes to picturing how he would do in a fight against Manny Pacquiao, Crawford, Spence, Porter or Garcia. We saw Thurman beat Porter and Garcia in the past, but that was when he was still an active fighter. Being out of the ring for 2 years is a long time.

In any sport, if you stay of competition for two years, you’re not going to be able to come back and be the same guy you were. You lose something from your game. The thing is, Thurman was barely beating the likes of Porter and Garcia when he was at his best. He clearly isn’t that fighter anymore from what we saw last Saturday. The only thing that hasn’t changed is Thurman’s power, and his running ability. He can still run like before, but that’t not going to help him beat Spence and Crawford. The judges aren’t going to give Thurman rounds with him back-peddling for 12 rounds to avoid Spence and Crawford’s steady pressure.

Thurman beat Lopez by the 117-109, 115-111 and 113-113. Forget about the embarrassingly bad 117-109 score turned in by Tom Schreck; Thurman appeared to lose at least four rounds, possibly five. Although Thurman didn’t go down in the seventh, the judges still scored it as a 10-8 round, due to him being badly hurt and out on his feet. Earlier in the fight, Thurman got a flash knockdown of Lopez

Arum thinks Pacquiao can beat Thurman possibly after seen how badly ‘One Time’ looked against Lopez.

“Yeah, I think that’s a winnable fight. Yeah I do,” Arum said about him believing that Pacquiao can beat Thurman. “Yeah, I think Freddie’s sees the same thing I did.”

Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach also believes that Manny will beat Thurman.

Thurman looked so bad against Lopez that it might not be worth it for Pacquiao to fight him, because he looks like a shot fighter at this stage in his career. Pacquiao won’t get any credit if he beats Thurman, given that the boxing public will likely say, ‘So what, Lopez almost beat Thurman before you beat him.’ Pacquiao would have to chase Thurman for 12 rounds, just as Lopez was chasing him, and it would be an ugly to watch fight. Pacquiao would have more interest from boxing fans if he fought Danny Garcia, Spence, Mikey Garcia, Crawford or Shawn Porter.

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