Keith Thurman plans on returning in late 2020
By Jim Maltzman: Former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) will be returning to the ring later this year to resume his career following a hand injury.
Thurman, 31, hasn’t fought since losing a close 12 round split decision to Manny Pacquiao in an exciting battle on July 20 on Fox Sports pay-per-view in Las Vegas.
Keith looked like a shell of the fighter he’d been in 2017. The inactivity and weight gain that he had between 2017 and 2019 took something from his game.
Thuman lost too much weight in camp
One Time admits that he didn’t prepare the right way for the fight with Pacquiao. He lost an incredible 35 lbs during training camp for that fight, which meant that a good portion of his time was spent on dropping weight.
For fighters that have lost that kind of weight before in camp, they know it leaves them less than 100% for their fights. Thurman found out the hard way that he needs more time in taking off weight before his crucial fights.
The hand problem has kept ‘One Time’ Thurman out of action since his disappointing defeat against a youthful 41-year-old Pacquiao.
Thurman says he would have been able to come back earlier this year, but he’s got some weight management issues he has to deal with. He’s kind of big right now, but it’s nothing that he can’t handle to be ready for the second half of 2020.
Thurman not happy with preparation for Pacquiao
“I’m disappointed in how I prepared for the Manny Pacquiao fight,” said Thurman to Fighthub. “I give myself a slide in how I prepared for my fight with Josesito Lopez. It was a 22 month comeback. I had all the rights to be overweight, and not have the proper weight management under control. But after that fight, I gained back 35 lbs.
‘In preparation for Pacquiao, I lost 35 lbs in 11 weeks. I don’t think that was a proper approach for me to be the best that I can be,” said Thurman. “So much of the training was weight loss, and not fight drill and ring work.
“I need to get myself back to what I do best, which is fighting, moving,” said Thurman. “And I did have a tremendous camp. I also semi-worked myself to death, but eventually I worked myself into shape. It was the first three weeks of camp that was very hard. The only thing that’s making me go later out in 2020 is my weight management, ” said Thurman.
It sounds like Thurman has been having similar problems as Andy Ruiz Jr. with him not staying in shape in between fights. If Thurman wants to maximize the amount of time he has left in his career, he needs to train and eat sensibly in between fights.
After Thurman retires, he can let himself go, and eat what he wants, but he’s a world class athlete now. He messes up his career by letting himself gain so much weight when not fighting.