Keith Thurman is ready to reclaim himself as the #1 welterweight

January 9, 2019 7:17 AM
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WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman speaks on his excitement to get back into the ring following a long layoff.

WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (28-0,22KOs) will return to the ring against Josesito Lopez (36-7,19KOs) at the Barclays Center in New York on Jan. 26. Thurman will be making his eighth title defense following a 22-month layoff.

“Just getting back, I feel good. I feel excited, you know?” said Thurman. “And you know, regardless if I’m 100%; I wasn’t 100% last time. We still gonna go in there and be champ, we still gonna be Keith Thurman.”

Thurman defeated then WBC champion Danny Garcia by split decision in March 2017 to become the unified welterweight champion. Thurman relinquished the WBC belt, and has been inactive since then due to elbow and hand injuries.

He even claimed to have fought Garcia with the injured elbow. Those injuries are no longer an issue, and Thurman feels great as he prepares to make his long awaited return to the ring.

“With bone spurs, I couldn’t hit the heavy bag,” said Thurman. “With bone spurs, I couldn’t do pull-ups; I couldn’t do pushups. You know? So I feel a lot better. And my hand had me worried about my left hook. Now my hand’s secure. I’m hitting the heavy bag, it feels good. We’re not having problems when we hit our sparring partners. There is no pain, I don’t have to ice it down.”

Shawn Porter defeated Garcia for the vacant WBC title by unanimous decision in September. Thurman now has the intent to get the title back and once again become a unified champion.

“No one came up to me and thanked me for relinquishing my belt, you know?” said Thurman, jokingly. “Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia wouldn’t have fought if there was no title on the line. Why would they have fought? How could they both fight a 12-round fight when they both aren’t champions? How can you make that fight? Can I get a thank you? Ok cool, I appreciate that. But now it’s time to get it back.”


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