By Brian Webber: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he’s planning on returning to the ring in October against a still-to-be-determined opponent.
The 33-year-old ‘One Time’ Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) says he’d be willing to face recently beaten former WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas to use him as a measuring stick to compare him to Errol Spence Jr. The latter stopped the talented Cuban last April in a grueling war.
It’s not likely Thurman’s handlers will match him up against Ugas, though, because ‘One Time’ is coming off a second bout with COVID 19, and he gained a bunch of weight while recovering from the illness.
Thurman says he ballooned up to 188 lbs while sitting on the couch recovering, and he needs to get his weight down to the 160s before he starts training camp for his fight in October.
Keith is coming off an impressive 12-round unanimous decision win over Mario Barrios last February in Las Vegas in what was the first fight for him in three years since his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2019.
After Thurman’s one-sided win over Barrios, he had hoped to return to the ring in the summer, but contracting Covid 19 messed those plans up, as well as his weight gain.
“I had a rollercoaster, and I was trying to be more active this year,” said Keith Thurman to PBC Podcast. “I never got the phone call that I was going to get a summer fight, and they said it was going to get pushed back a little bit more.
“I relaxed a little bit more, and I wasn’t fully on my weight management the way that I wanted to be. Plus, I ended up contacting Covid for the second time. The first time this year, and the second time because I had it last year.
“Seven days recovering from Covid, ordering uber eats, sitting on the couch not doing nada. I stepped on the scale when I recovered, and I was at 188. So, I got back in the gym that following week, and by the next Friday, I was down to 182.
“Before I got Covid, they were saying fall,” said Thurman when asked when he’ll fight again. “Then they were saying September or October, and then I started hearing that it might look like October. After October, I’m tired of waiting.
“I’m looking forward to this October date. I still don’t have a legitimate name. I was supposed to get a few names. So, anybody that says this is Thurman’s next opponent, it’s kind of a rumor because I was supposed to get a list, and I was supposed to go over it with my team. I look forward to getting an actual list of names for true opponents for Keith Thurman’s next up-and-coming fight.
“Yes,” said Thurman when asked if he’d be interested in fighting Yordenis Ugas. “We can start playing the measuring stick game. For that purpose, I think it’s a good fight.
“We’re just slowing working on our diet and getting our body moving. We got a lot to do in July here. I think July will be a great month for weight management, and by the end of July, if I can be somewhere from 168 to 165 in preparation for my next training camp, that’ll be ideal.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been under 172, which is a 22-lb weight drop. That’s my average for most of my fights. For my fight against Manny Pacquiao, it was even worse. I was 182 at the start of the camp, so it was a 35-pound weight drop.
“That didn’t help me in my preparation that I had to focus so much on losing weight rather than on strategy for victory. So I’ve been learning from the past, I have my goals set, and I have plenty of time to accomplish it, so that’s why I’m moving now,” said Thurman.