Keith Thurman to fight in July, targeting Berto or Alexander
By Dan Ambrose: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is talking about returning to the ring in July for his get-back, and he’s reportedly looking at Yordenis Ugas, Andre Berto, and Devon Alexander as potential options.
Thurman, 32, has finally decided to return to the ring after two consecutive years after losing his WBA welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.
Keith wanted to face Pacquiao in a rematch, but he’s not taken him up on his offer to fight him again. Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) hasn’t fought either during the last two years, so there was no possibility.
In addition to asking Pacquiao for a fight, Thurman has been calling out welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr and Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford for a title shot. They’ve shown no interest in throwing a bone to the needy ‘One Time’ Thurman.
Indeed, Spence had made it clear that he’ll NEVER fight Thurman because he’s unhappy that he never gave him a title shot when he held the WBA and WBC titles before becoming a world champion.
Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs), the WBA Super World welterweight champion, is the primary target for ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs).
With that said, Ugas is expected to face IBF/WBC 147-lb champion Errol Spence Jr in a unification fight, which will take him out of play for Thurman.
It’s unrealistic for Thurman to get a fight against Ugas at this point because not only is Spence interested in fighting the Cuban talent, but so is Crawford. They both want him, and he’s not going to take a lesser payday against Thurman, who has nothing to offer him.
Thurman would arguably be showing some real desperation if he were to fight the 37-year-old Andre Berto (32-5, 24 KOs), who hasn’t fought in three years since 2018, way past his prime.
Former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Berto has been viewed as over-the-hill for the last ten years since losing to Victor Ortiz, Robert ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero, and Jesus Soto Karass in 2011.
In 2015 and 2017, Berto was beaten by Floyd Mayweather Jr and Shawn Porter. Berto won his last fight, beating former two-division world champion Devon Alexander by a 12 round split decision in 2018.
Fighting Berto at this point would do zero for Thurman’s career other than making him look he’s over-the-hill, fighting an old-timer on his last leg.
As for 34-year-old Devon Alexander(27-6-1, 14 KOs), he’s in the same boat as Berto in terms of being a shot fighter. Alexander’s once-promising career went into a downward spiral beginning in 2013 with him losing to the following fighters:
- Shawn Porter
- Amir Khan
- Aaron Martinez
- Ivan Redkach
Alexander hasn’t fought in two years since getting beaten by Redkach by a sixth-round knockout in June 2019.
If Thurman can’t fight against Ugas, he needs to let Premier Boxing Champions know that he wants to fight a relative contender, not old guys like Berto or Alexander.
It goes without saying that it’s going to make Thurman look ridiculous in the hardcore boxing fans’ eyes if he faces Berto or Alexander next.
Better options for Thurman’s ‘get-back fight in July:
- Jamal James
- Kell Brook
- David Avanesyan
- Conor Benn
- Sergey Lipinets
- Abel Ramos
- Mikey Garcia
- Maurice Hooker
- Rashidi Ellis
- Daniyar Yeleussinov
- Thurman more dangerous for Pacquiao than Spence says Freddie Roach
- Keith Thurman: “Pacquiao is looking a little slower”
- Spence wants Crawford after Pacquiao, could be Ugas
- Cody Crowley vs. Gabriel Maestre on Aug.7th on Fox