Report- Former Welterweight Champ Keith Thurman Back In January
After an astoundingly long layoff, it looks like former WBA World Welterweight champ Keith “One Time” Thurman is ready to return. And a report Wednesday night says the former rising star at 147 lb. will be part of a Fox PPV in late January in Las Vegas.
Boxing insider Dan Rafael tweeted that he’s learned that Premier Boxing Champions has reserved a date for January 29th and they intended to feature Thurman’s return,
On the agenda of the Dec. 13 Nevada commission meeting there is a TGB Promotions date request for Jan. 29 at the MGM Grand to be televised on PPV. Per source involved, the request is for a Fox PPV card that would include Keith Thurman’s return in the main event. #boxing
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) December 9, 2021
As Rafael tweeted, this will likely become clearer at the December Nevada Athletic Commission meeting next week and an announcement from PBC should happen soon after that.
As for Thurman, he’s been out of the ring for two and half years and counting after being beaten for the first time in his career by future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao by split decision in July of 2019.
In the aftermath of the Pacquiao bout, it was discovered that Thurman had re-injured his left hand that had put him out of action for more than six months a couple of years earlier. Thurman has subsequently had surgery and then, the Covid 19 postponed halted any fights for him through Summer of 2020.
Thurman, 29-1, 22 KOs and PBC were apparently in talks with Top Rank Boxing about a battle with WBO Welterweight champ, Terence Crawford last Fall, but it never materialized. Yet, all through 2021, Thurman has not even fought in a “tune up” fight against anyone.
Essentially, the 31 year old Thurman has had only two fights over the course of nearly four and half years due to injuries. And, his inactivity added to the injury question marks are certainly holding back his marketability.
Further and, ironically, had Thurman fought earlier in 2021, then when Unified World Welterweight Champ Errol Spence had to pull out of his mega-fight with Pacquiao in August, Thurman would have been the natural fill-in for Spence. And, there would have been legitimate reason and momentum to pivot to a “Thruman-Pacquiao” rematch.
Instead, Yordenis Ugas, who had been active, got the shot and dominated Pacquiao in a unanimous decision win. And, now, Pacquiao has since retired to run for president of the Philippines. And worse for Thurman, Ugas has now been ordered to fight his mandatory WBA challenger Eimantas Stanionis next.
So, if this is in fact, a return for Thurman, it will be interesting to see, who his return opponent will be?