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Keith Thurman firing back at his critics, says he likes “criticism”

Image: Keith Thurman firing back at his critics, says he likes "criticism"

By Allan Fox: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman was riled up on Thursday in response to all the criticism he’s been getting for his comeback after two and a half years of sitting idle.

Amazingly, Thurman says he likes the criticism that he’s getting from the fans and the media. It’s hard to believe him, though, because he was worked up today over the criticism he’s been getting.

Thurman is fighting Mario Barrios on March 5th on FOX PPV at the Michelob Ultra Arena, Las Vegas. People believe Thurman is over-the-hill and has been since he made his last comeback in 2019 after being out of the ring for two years.

Thurman looked terrible in losing to Manny Pacquiao and having problems with fringe contender Josesito Lopez. The way Thurman struggled against Josesito in 2019 showed that he’d lost a lot from his game from the fighter he’d been in 2016.

Why is Thurman coming back?

Fans don’t see this as a pay-per-view worthy fight; that’s one of the things that Thurman was defending on Thursday. He says the reason why the fight card PPV is that boxers “accumulate damage.”

Boxing fans don’t view the fight and the card itself as worthy of PPV, particularly with Thurman hand-picking a 140-pounder Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs) coming off a knockout loss Gervonta Davis.

The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) says he’s returning to take back his #1 spot as the best welterweight in the world, but the critics see his hidden agenda being to replenish his bank account.

The rumors are that Thurman needs money, which has motivated him to finally get off the couch, lose weight, and get a big payday against Terence Crawford or Errol Spence Jr.

To get to the money fight that he needs, Thurman must beat Barrios. If he can’t do that, he won’t get his hands on the millions he’ll scoop up against Errol or Bud Crawford.

It’s debatable whether Thurman will beat Barrios, though, because this isn’t a body that is being thrown into the ring for a showcase-level fight.

Considering this is on FOX PPV, Thurman’s management had to get someone that had enough talent and name recognition to help sell the fight.

Keith says he’s “NOT done”

“Thurman is not done. For all those who think Thurman is done, I’m not done. I’m 33-years-old,” said Thurman to Premier Boxing Champions. “I don’t got 33 more in me, but I got plenty more good years in me. I’m going to put it, blood, sweat & tears in the ring.

“It all starts this year, 2022, on February 5th. Mario Barrios, let’s go,” said Thurman.

Technically, Thurman isn’t done as a fighter. He only has one loss, and that was against Pacquiao. But if you ask the question of whether Thurman has the potential ever to recapture another world title, yeah, he’s done.

At this point in Thurman’s career, he’s not going to win another title because he’s been out of the ring for too long.

I’m not sure talking about his latest 31-month layoff. I’m also referring to the two years Thurman was out of the ring from 2017 to 2019. With the inactivity he’s had since 2017, Thurman has missed four out of the last five years.

That’s too much time that Thurman has missed for him NOT to be done as a fighter. There’s no way Thurman can win a title unless he’s given one of the WBC’s trinket belts like their Franchise strap.

Thurman appreciates the doubters

People can say what they want about Keith Thurman. Unless you know something about me, you don’t know anything about me,” said a riled-up Thurman in reacting to fans questioning his ability to come back.

Image: Keith Thurman firing back at his critics, says he likes "criticism"

“This is my life; this is what I do. This is my passion,” continued Thurman. “Boxing is my American dream come true. Being on FOX network is my American dream come true.

“Entertaining the fans and getting criticism from all those other people. All that clickbait material is my dream come true. So, I don’t hate on the haters. I appreciate that they still have the time to talk about me.

“And I appreciate that they doubt me because your doubt motivates me. I do this for you, I do this for me, and I do this for Martin Luther King because I’m living a dream. I love the sport of boxing.

“And I think it’s one of the most beautiful sports, one of the most complex sports, one of the most hardest sports in the world. That’s why it’s one of the only sports that demand pay-per-view,” said Thurman.

‘One Time’ Thurman’s body language didn’t match the words coming out of his mouth when he talked about how he “appreciates” the criticism that he’s getting.

The criticism from the fans bothers Thurman, which is why he went on a long rant, talking nonsense at times.

Deep down, the 33-year-old Thurman knows that he’s lost his love for boxing, and that’s why he’s been out of the ring for four out of the last five years.

If Thurman still loved boxing, he wouldn’t have been taking two-year breaks the way he’s TWICE done in the last five years. I guess Keith loves boxing so much that it makes him want to stay away.

‘One Time’ worried about being damaged

“We demand it because athletes put so much on the table,” said Thurman. “They put themselves out there to accumulate damage. All other sports have found a way to reduce the contact in the sport. Not boxing, not UFC because we are the original contact sport.

“We are the only real contact sport that is still alive. Still living, still breathing. Yes, the referee will jump in and stop the fight,” said Thurman.

“Yes, the referees are there to protect the fighters, and fighters in this generation are taking a little bit less damage, but there’s no sport like boxing.

“Every punch to the head is a mild concussion, and we know that. So for me to be here and be speaking in full sentences to you right is a blessing from above.

“That’s why we’re going to keep striving and living this dream, putting ourselves on the line, knowing that one day that we don’t know what’s going to happen when we step out of the ring.

“I want to see my family, I want to hold my child, and I want to be able to talk to her and my family, but we don’t know. So when fighters say that they’re done, they’re done, and we salute them and respect them for what they put in this ring.”

Thurman doesn’t make any sense at all here, and you can tell that he’s conflicted.

Deciphering the mixed messages that Thurman is giving to the fans, I get the impression he’s worried about getting hurt inside the ring, and that’s why he stays inactive for such long periods.

If this is just about money, Thurman has no choice but to come back to make another bank heist before disappearing for two years.

We’ll likely see a repeat of 2019, with Thurman getting in two fights in 2022 and then going back into a prolonged stagnation until 2024. If nothing else, Thurman is utterly predictable. Coming events cast their shadows before.

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