By Dan Ambrose: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he’ll be returning to action in August against one of four potential opponents that his management is looking at him fighting.
The former WBA & WBC welterweight champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) will be coming from an 18-month layoff when he fights in August. Thurman says he’s been enjoying his family life since his last fight against Mario Barrios in February 2022.
The 34-year-old Thurman says he wants to fight the winner or loser of the July 29th welterweight undisputed championship between Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford. That would require that Thurman win his August comeback fight.
We’ll see if Thurman gets his wish and faces Spence or Crawford. Fans wouldn’t have a problem with Thurman fighting either of those guys if his August comeback fight was against a quality fighter instead of a poor quality guy or a former paper champion like we saw from him in his last fight.
Thurman working on summer return
“We’re working on releasing a summer date. I was a little too busy with the family,” said Keith Thurman to Fight Hub TV about his long stretch of inactivity. “I was proposed a date before Spence-Crawford, but I just felt like it was pushing it with my weight management because I feel like that is one of my biggest struggles.
“I don’t want to really say [who the potential opponent is] because there’s a plethora of guys out there. I’m going to get back, stay moving. I want the biggest fight I can make happen, and I welcome all challengers.
“I’ve already said yes to pretty much all four names. Getting me to agree to fight somebody isn’t a problem. Getting the date, locking it in, and organizing the event. That’s the main issue now. I’ve sat on the bench long enough.
Fans would have no issue with Thurman fighting the Spence-Crawford winner if his next fight against one of these guys:
- Jaron Ennis
- Rashidi Ellis
- Roiman Villa
- Vergil Ortiz
- Alexis Rocha
- Eimantas Stanionis
- Regis Prograis
- Yordenis Ugas
Thurman’s inactivity issues during the last six years have been troubling, as he’s only fought three times since 2017. That’s roughly once every two years, which is not nearly enough for him to continue to be a championship-level fighter.
Interestingly, Thurman says he wants to stay active for the next three years until he’s 37, and then decide whether to return to fighting once a year until he’s 40. At that point, he says he’ll retire.
“There was another summer date, and I said, ‘Let’s do our best to lock that in. It hasn’t been announced. It hasn’t been completely finalized, but we are working on that summer date,” said Thurman. “It shouldn’t be too much after the [July] 29th [Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford] event.
“I’m looking forward to that announcement within the coming weeks, and hoping to have that squared away in the next two weeks. I want to get back in action and fight the potential winner or loser of this event [Spence-Crawford].”
Given the rarity of Thurman’s fights, it’s impossible to imagine him fighting frequently for the next three years.
Some would argue that the millions that Thurman has made during his career, combined with his enjoying family life, has crowded out his boxing career.
Unless a fighter is ambitious and naturally hard-working, they tend to get lazy and slack off once they make a lot of money. From there, it’s all downhill.
They get fat and rusty, and when they eventually try and return to the ring, their results are poor. They then wind up quitting.
Vegas the destination for One Time’s return
“We’ve seen what politically happened. Those boys are getting back to work. I’m getting back to work and the welterweight division is getting back in action really soon. Most likely Vegas; we’re looking for Vegas,” said Thurman about where his next fight will be.
“I’ve had so many injuries. I’m turning 34 this year. My ultimate goal is to go until I’m 40. We’ve got three solid good years. If I can get active for the next three years, I’ll be very happy with my career, and then we can assess it from there,” said Thurman.
Thurman’s injuries are NOT the reason he’s only fought three times in the last six years. If he believes that, he’s fooling himself because he easily could have fought three times as many fights since 2017 if he’d been driven to work hard, stay in the gym and not slack off.
Again, some fighters lose focus after they make bunch of money, and that’s why guys like Canelo Alvarez are so rare. He’s got a net worth estimated at $200 million, and he’s not taking it easy, fighting once every two years like Thurman.
When Canelo has suffered injuries, he was right back in the ring as soon as the injury healed. With Thurman, he disappears for two years, comes back, and disappears again for another two years. The ambition isn’t there.
“In three years, I’ll be 37. If I want to slow it down and fight once a year until I’m 40 and hang it up, so be it. Mentally, I’m prepared to put my body through this through the long haul,” said Thurman.
“Spence-Crawford, they’ve been in the ring with Thurman, and it’s just a tremendous fight out there. As long as fighters want to fight, they’re going to need great opponents. Keith Thurman is that.
“I think Tank is very exciting. In the world of boxing, it’s hard not to be a Taank Davis fan. Shakur has a very bright future. So we got to see how these chips fall.
“Tank Davis being a power puncher, that’s what general fight fans love to see. They love to see something devasting. He’s a tremendous talent, but he lacks that side of things.
“So he’s just going to have to fight everybody and prove himself similar to Floyd Mayweather. You have to prove how great you are the one that everyone needs to tune into each and every time you fight,” said Thurman about Shakur Stevenson.