By: Hans Themistode
Fans of Keith Thurman were once accustomed to highlight level knockouts and championship victories. Now however, they’ve grown accustomed to long layoffs and injuries.
After sitting out nearly two years with various issues with his elbow and hand, Thurman stepped into the ring on two occasions in 2019. The rust was evident in his win against Josesito Lopez, but he looked more like himself six months later against Manny Pacquiao. Yet, for the first time in 30 professional fights, Thurman left the ring without the win. But if there was ever a time for a moral victory, this was it.
It hadn’t been since 2015 that Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) made more than one appearance inside of a boxing ring. So despite the loss, there was reason to believe that he would be back to his old active self. Well, think again.
Shortly after Thurman picked up his loss to Pacquiao, he underwent surgery to fuse the metacarpal bones in his left hand. It didn’t seem like a major setback, however, nine months later and the former unified champion is still having issues.
“I still have yet to hit the bag 100 percent,” said Thurman on an episode of Stars and Champions on Impact Network. Dan Rafael. “So, I did some exercises yesterday. I noticed that – I did do some heavy-duty exercises. So, I did notice that there was a little achiness here today. I started doing some heavier weights. I really wanted to get into the strong, the heavier movement, the heavier impact. You know, light impact, touch, touch, touch all day. But I need to get back into the heavier hitting. And that’s gonna take probably another two to three weeks of working on that before I know that it’s gonna be 100.”
Fans of Thurman were always daydreaming about their favorite fighter. Matchups with current unified champion Errol Spence Jr and WBO belt holder Terence Crawford was all they could think about. Now, the only thing on their mind is when, or better yet, if, their man will ever return healthy once again.
Spending time on the shelf has taught Thurman how to be patient. Maybe he’s displayed too much of it over the years. But still, he isn’t in any rush to return from injury, but when he does, he expects to be better than ever.
“I feel confident, I think I’m gonna be stronger than I’ve been in a long time. I think I’m gonna be healthier than I’ve been in a long time. And I’m hoping that all of its gonna show in my performance. You know, you’re gonna know when Keith Thurman’s back because he’s gonna look like a monster. He’s gonna look unbeatable.”