Keith Thurman believes he can regain #1 spot at 147

By Boxing News - 08/10/2021 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Inactive Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman still thinks he can recapture his #1 spot to be the top welterweight in the division despite being out of the ring for two years.

Former WBA/WBC 147-lb champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has had injury and weight problems in the last 25 months while sitting inactive after his 12 round split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.

The combination of Thurman settling into domestic life, being married and having a lot of money made during his 14-year professional career and injuries have negatively impacted his ability to stay active.

It would be tough, if not impossible, for Thurman to return to the #1 spot at welterweight that he briefly held after Floyd Mayweather Jr retired in 2016. The mind is willing, but body the body is fragile for Thurman.

Thurman had that small window where many boxing fans saw him as the top dog at welterweight, but then he threw it away by failing to fight during a two-year period from 2017 to 2019.

Will Thurman fight in 2o21?

Sadly, when Thurman finally returned to action in 2019 for two fights, he disappeared for another two years until 2021. Unfortunately, we still haven’t seen Thurman fight this year, and it’s unknown if he’ll fight at all in 2021.

‘One Time’ Thurman is talking a lot about how he will return to the ring soon, but it’s not happened.

Thurman has always been a great talker, but he’s not a man of action anymore. Success, weight gain, and injuries have done a number on Thurman’s career.

Thurman still believes he can be #1 at 147

“I do believe I have what it takes to be number one again,” said Keith Thurman to Fighthype when asked if he’s looking to ‘cash-out’ of the sport.

YouTube video

“It’s just a matter of training preparation, being mentally strong, and just give it my all. To lose such a close fight [against Manny Pacquiao], I feel like I don’t even have a loss on my record.

“I just feel like I’ve always felt. You know, how I used to say, ‘I’ve got an O, and I’m not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me.’

“I’m not out here being beaten. So like I said, I wasn’t defeated [by Pacquiao]. I lost; I wasn’t defeated.

“No one defeated me. They didn’t take the fire or the hunger or made me feel inferior to the competition of today’s generation.

“So with that statement, you should understand how I feel and that I believe I can be the number one welterweight in the division today.

“This week, I’m trying to get back ASAP whenever,” said Thurman when asked ‘when will he return to the ring.’ “Whenever ASAP Rocky, I’ll be ready; I’m here,” Thurman said.

At this point, Thurman should just be focusing on trying to fight, period, rather than carrying on with his pipe dream of how he’s one day going to regain the #1 spot. The situation is bleak for Thurman due to his injury problems.

Even if Premier Boxing Champions does set the soon-to-be 33-year-old Thurman up with a fight, who’s to say that he can make it through training camp without needing to postpone the fight due to an injury of some sort.

For Thurman to regain the #1 spot at welterweight, he’s got to be able to fight more frequently than every two years, and he’s got to stay healthy above all.

Thurman’s mistakes in his loss to then 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao in his last fight in 2019; he cannot afford to make those same mistakes against Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford, Jaron Ennis, or Vergil Ortiz Jr.

Image: Keith Thurman believes he can regain #1 spot at 147

33 isn’t old for a fighter, but for Thurman, it’s ancient. You can argue that Thurman is more like a 40-year-old fighter than a guy in his early 30s. He certainly looks it physically.

‘One Time’ dissects Spence’s performance against Porter

“I had Porter winning the first half of the fight,” said Thurman on the 2019 fight between Spence and Porter.

“I just thought Spence wasn’t throwing enough punches and was fighting more Porter’s fight, and I did think round one was a pick ’em.

“I think judges sometimes forget that they can issue a 10-10 round. I think round one was one of those rounds where it was hard to say who really won the round [between Spence and Porter].

YouTube video

“You can pick one or call it a draw, but once you pick one, you can’t go back and change it. So with the way I was scoring the fight, Porter was dominating the first half, and Errol was dominating the second half.

“I still had the fight really close. I still had the fight close to a draw status at the end of the fight.

“Yeah, because he [Spence] started so late,” Thurman said in explaining why he couldn’t give Spence the win over Porter.

“I felt like he fought too much of Porter’s fight early on, and it could have been non-beneficial. But he [Spence] was the champion, and you do have to beat the champion.

“So some of those rounds that I felt were close, maybe I should have given it to the champion, and that would have changed the scorecards instantly.

“I felt like it was a competitive fight; I liked the fight. Porter got dropped in the eleventh, and Errol started to trade with him.

“He didn’t really have a problem. He [Spence] was comfortable in there trading with Shawn like a lot of us have been in the past, and he won the fight,” said Thurman.

Spence fought a dumb fight against Porter by choosing to brawl with him on the inside through most of their 12 round bout in 2019.

Although Spence did deserve a close win, it was a disappointing performance because he failed to separate himself from Porter to show that he’s a cut above.

Spence should have given Porter a rematch to show the boxing public that he’s better than him, but he didn’t. The fact that Spence didn’t face Porter again, it’s arguably hurt his career.

What Danny Garcia did wrong against Spence

“He didn’t throw punches,” Thurman said on what Danny Garcia did wrong in his defeat to Errol Spence Jr last December.

YouTube video

“If you watch the twelfth round and you watch the best flurry that he’s throwing in the whole fight in the last ten seconds, they were both loading up.

I could clearly see that. I don’t know how many people could see from watching the fight that both fighters were clearly loading up,” Thurman said of Spence vs. Danny Garcia.

“When people load up on one another, it makes both people hesitant and tentative.

“But Errol, he knew that Danny was loading up, and he was like, ‘I’m going to show you how I load up, and I’m going to swing at you the way you’re swinging at me.’

“They were both missing those knockout punches on one another. That’s what happened when I fought Danny [in 2017].

“I noticed that after he realized that I had a good pop and I could catch him off guard, he tightened his guard up, he tightened his defense up, and he didn’t want to get hard, and he didn’t want to get dropped in front of everybody.

“That’s what I saw Danny doing. So the one thing that he did wrong was he focused more on not getting hit than how to hit Errol Spence. He was inside the pocket; he never worked the double hook to the body and the hook to the head.

“I thought he was inside quite easily, but anytime he was inside, he wasn’t letting his hands go. His daddy [trainer Angel Garcia] was yelling at him at the end of every trying to get him to ‘throw more punches, throw more punches.’

“And deep down, I think he was worried about being countered. I think he could see Errol’s power, and he probably felt a little bit on the arms, and it made him not want to be open to taking a big shot.

“At the same time, he never let his punches go, and I mean, I think that’s his number one mistake in a lot of his fights that he’s had.

“He’s just got to up his punch count. He’s got good timing, but when you’re not timing stuff in between, you got to have a little bit of the storyline,” said Thurman about Danny Garcia.

“Where’s the storyline, Danny. Where’s the output to say, ‘I’m doing something in this round besides trying to land counter punches,'” said Thurman. “So that’s the only downside on what I see the way Danny fought Errol,” said Thurman.

The former two-division world champion Danny Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) has always been known for having a long work rate throughout his career, so it was no surprise that this issue surfaced in his 12 round unanimous decision loss to Spence last December.

Garcia, 33, has gotten away with having a low punch output due to his formidable power, but he’s not quite as devasting of a puncher at 147 as he was at 140.

Like Mikey Garcia, Danny failed to increase his punch output when he moved up to 147, and that’s been his whole problem. With Mikey, he didn’t have to throw many shots when he fought at 126, 130, and 135 because he had so much power.

But when Mikey moved up to 140 and 147, his power wasn’t as formidable, and that’s when he began to struggle.

Danny Garcia is similar to Mikey in that respect. For some reason, Danny hasn’t increased his punch output since moving up to 147 in 20015, and his career has suffered for it.