Keith Thurman explains why he didn’t fight Yordenis Ugas
By Dan Ambrose: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is being dumped on by fans for failing to take the fight with WBA ‘Super World’ welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas to try and EARN a rematch with Manny Pacquiao.
If Thurman had fought Ugas and beaten him, it could have been him that took on Pacquiao last weekend.
Many boxing fans believe Thurman wanted no part of fighting Ugas because he didn’t believe he could beat him.
So instead of trying to earn the fight with Pacquiao, Thurman chose to let the media know how much he would like to be just given the rematch on a silver platter.
Sadly, it would have been an easy one for Thurman, 32, to set up, as both he and Ugas are with PBC. Moreover, the Cuban fighter would have gladly agreed to a fight with Thurman, as it would have been a massive payday for him.
Former WBA/WBC 147-lb champion ‘One Time’ Thurman needed Ugas’ WBA title to get Pacquiao to give him the second fight that he wanted after losing to him two years ago by a 12 round split decision in July 2019.
Interestingly, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) says he would have liked to have fought Ugas (27-1, 12 KOs) but the fight didn’t work with his “timeline.”
Thurman explains why Ugas fight didn’t happen
“I thought it would have been a great fight for me, but it didn’t happen,” said Keith Thurman when asked why he didn’t pursue a fight with Yordenis Ugas when Errol Spence Jr. chose to fight Pacquiao.
“I would have loved for it to happen. It would have been a great fight for me, especially with two years of inactivity. I would have loved that fight,” said Thurman about the Ugas match.
“That fight did not manifest on the timeline and on the clock. I was sitting back waiting. I’m still training. Where’s the contract, baby. Anytime, any date. I’m out here working,” said Thurman.
It’s unclear what timeline Thurman is referring to, as he’s been out of the ring for the last 25 months, and he’s had zero fights. That sounds like Thurman is using code language to say that he didn’t want the Ugas fight due to the risk involved.
Perhaps Thurman’s rationale for not choosing to fight Ugas has to do with him being overweight for much of the past two years since his loss to Pacquiao in 2019.
Was Thurman worried about his weight?
It’s no secret that Thurman packed on a lot of pounds after the loss to Manny, and he stayed fat until recently. If Thurman was concerned with how much hard work it would take for him to trim off all the weight, that might explain why he chose not to go after a fight with Yordenis.
There certainly shouldn’t have been anything standing in the way of Thurman taking the fight with Ugas to attempt to capture his WBA 147-lb title to use as bait to lure Pacquiao into fighting him again.
Thurman says “Where’s the contract?’ Well, it’s too late for him to be asking for a fight with Ugas because he’s now likely to be facing Pacquiao in a rematch in January, and he doesn’t have time to be facing a slowpoke like Thurman.
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