EXCLUSIVE: Keith Thurman talks Manny Pacquiao opponent, ring return

Keith Thurman Manny Pacquiao

Stephanie Trapp

One-time world welterweight champion Keith Thurman can’t wait to get back in the ring following the first defeat of his career at the hands of Manny Pacquiao.

Thurman lost his impressive 29-0 record when facing Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in July 2019, going down in the first round before losing on the cards.

Losing his world title into the bargain, the American was hampered in his bid to return to action due to the pandemic and injury.

Now refocused, Thurman is looking forward to securing a date.

In an exclusive interview with World Boxing News, Thurman was asked how frustrating it is not to get straight back to erase the Pacquiao loss from his memory.

He responded: “A little frustrating, but lucky for me. I have experience with time away from the industry.

“I look forward to my opportunity this summer to get back in.

“From there, I am hoping to stay active. It’s been on my to-do list for the past two years. I’d like to have ongoing activity for a few years and take it from there.”

FUTURE

Quizzed on how many more years he believes he has left and if he would consider a commentary career in retirement, Thurman added: “At least a few more years.

“I want to stay active for the next three years. Then we’ll go from there.

“I like doing TV work, so yes, I can see myself doing that for a long time. I enjoy calling the fights and working with the network teams.”

Manny Pacquiao Keith Thurman
Stephanie Trapp

MANNY PACQUIAO OPPONENT

Finally, who would Thurman like to see Manny Pacquiao fight next, Mikey Garcia or Conor McGregor?

“Oh, Mikey Garcia. Definitely. I’d like to see him fight Mikey over Conor. But I’m a boxer, so, Conor, no.”


Thurman is expected to have a warm-up fight with several options open to himself before aiming for a title shot.

Errol Spence and Terence Crawford are in his sights for the future, with a fellow Premier Boxing Champions competitor likely in the interim.

There are many welterweights currently on Al Haymon’s books, including Abel Ramos, Thomas Dulorme, and ex-world champions Devon Alexander, Andre Berto, and Robert Guerrero.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.