Former world champion Keith Thurman fought his second fight in 2019 on Saturday night against Manny Pacquiao, but before his fight with Josesito Lopez back in January, Thurman was out of the ring for 22 months due to injuries, maybe that inactivity impacted his performance against Pacquiao.
Thurman(29-1, 22 KOs) was dropped in the first round and was hurt badly in the tenth as he lost by split-decision to the 40-year-old Pacquiao(62-7-2, 39 KOs) in front of a sold-out crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. With the victory, Pacquiao becomes the WBA super champion at 147, and Thurman suffers his first loss as a pro.
While the 30-year-old Thurman out-landed Pacquiao(210-195, according to Compubox), the Filipino legend threw more punches(686-571), which Thurman believes may have cost him the fight.
“We have seen champions and inactivity not favor them, from time to time, but I just thought that I would be able to counter him, utilize my jab from the outside, and really pressure him in the way that I did,” Thurman said after the fight. “Some of things that I wanted to do, I was able to do, but ultimately, I just really feel like, in retrospect, that I fell short on the numbers game.. Yeah, obviously, 22 months out of the game, Josesito Lopez and then Manny Pacquiao. I tried to stay active, but maybe another fight in-between would have helped.”
Maybe another tune-up fight would have helped Thurman against Pacquiao. However, he wanted a big money fight against Pacquiao, and he took his chance. There is still a lot of great matches for Thurman at 147, and we probably won’t see him again in 2019. But if he is smart, he gets back in the ring early 2020, so he can be as active as possible.
Photo/courtesy: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions