By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman has endured long stretches of inactivity as of late. Having fought just four times over the past seven years, Thurman will attempt to re-establish himself in the welterweight rankings when he returns this weekend against former 140 pound secondary titlist Mario Barrios.
For Thurman, it will be his first fight since a 2019 split decision defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao. As Thurman’s ring return draws near, many have wondered out loud just how much does the now 33-year-old have left in the tank? Amongst those who have openly questioned Thurman’s comeback, is former longtime rival, Danny Garcia.
“It’s been a long layoff,” said Garcia during a self-recorded video. “Can you still take a punch? Can you still motivate yourself to be great? But as far as his talent and his skill, he was number one at welterweight at one time. We’re talking about a guy who was the number one in the division.”
At Thurman’s peak, both he and Garcia engaged in a back and forth unification war in 2017. Though Thurman dominated early on, Garcia rallied back in the second half of their contest. Still, despite finishing strong, Garcia was handed the first defeat of his career via split decision.
While they may have squared off nearly five years ago, Garcia is unwilling to put their feud behind them. In fact, if given the chance, the former two-division titlist would jump at the opportunity to avenge his defeat.
“It was a close fight that I thought I won. We got a rivalry. I think Garcia and Thurman 2, that’s something the fans want to see.”
As for Garcia, the 33-year-old is currently in boxing purgatory. Since suffering defeat at the hands of Thurman, the Philadelphian has gone just 3-2 in his last five ring appearances. Most recently, Garcia suffered a one-sided unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Errol Spence Jr. in December of 2020.
Presently, Garcia is unsure of where he’ll compete next. Although he has campaigned at the welterweight division for over five years, he’s openly admitted to struggling to make the 147 pound weight limit.
A move up in weight for Garcia is something that he’s flirted with. Regardless of where he plants his flag next, Garcia is now turning his attention towards a rematch with Thurman in the second half of the year, provided, of course, both win their respective upcoming matches.
“I would like to get back in the ring, top of the year. We’re in the talks right now. Thurman gets his win, Danny gets his win, and let’s do it again. I think that’s one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing this year.”
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