By: Sean Crose
Credit Marcos Villegas for getting Keith Thurman to talk for the better portion of an hour for Fight Hub TV. The former WBA titlist hasn’t been in the ring since he was bested by Manny Pacquiao in 2019, though he’s always been open to speaking his mind. “Just really homebound,” new father Thurman told Villegas, “getting back in the gym.” Thurman also indicated he’s eager to return to the ring soon. “There’s a little bit more to fight for,” he said of being a father. “Just can’t wait to get back and showcase my skills again…I always live for the performance.”
Villegas asked Thurman outright when he would be fighting again. “If I get what I want, we’ll be dancing right before the Jingle Bells,” Thurman responded. “If I have to wait til January, so be it.” The fighter known as “One Time” admitted that he’d most likely be focusing on a fighter who isn’t in the top five…at first. “I didn’t need this much time off,” he said. “Time was one thing. Now it’s overtime.”
Villegas mentioned a possible fight with Pacquiao conqueror Yordenis Ugas.
Thurman declared such a fight would be “a lot more exciting” than Ugas’ fight against Pacquiao, “because I will be willing to press. He was such a bigger man over Pacquiao. It’s not easy for Pacquiao to walk in on Ugas.” Thurman also expressed sympathy for Errol Spence, who was supposed to face Pacquiao before an eye injury allowed Ugas to step in. “Gut wrenching,” Thurman said. “It’s gotta just make you want to throw up missing an opportunity.” Still, Thurman argued that “what matters is that he (Spence) comes back.” With that in mind, Thurman suggested a fight between Ugas and Spence might be less than thrilling. “We can put great fighters in the ring together,” he said, “but it doesn’t always mean that you’re going to have a great fight.”
Villegas brought up the fact that Spence seems to dislike Thurman. “In my lack of acknowledging him (several years ago), I was busy getting better fights,” Thurman said, referring to a period when he appeared less than interested facing Spence in the ring. “At the time, I had other things on my to do list. I never flat out disrespected him. I just said get bigger and I’ll see you when it’s worth something.”
“I don’t know how much he really hates me,” said Thurman, “but I bet he hates having to talk about me.”
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