For WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman(29-0, 22 KOs), fighting Josesito Lopez back in January was an opportunity to get back in the ring after two years away due to injuries, and more importantly, a chance to shake off some rust.
While Thurman was not at his best, and at one point it seemed he could get stopped after getting battered in round 7. He survived and won the fight. Now, he has a shot for more glory on July 20 at the MGM Garden Grand Arena in Las Vegas when he battles Manny Pacquiao(61-7-2, 39 KOs).
Throughout the promotion for Pacquiao-Thurman, one of Pacquiao’s trainers, Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, has been very open about his thoughts on Thurman, and on Thursday, it continued.
“The only hot dog Manny is thinking about is Keith Thurman,” Roach said. “Thurman talks a good game, but we’ll see if he can cut the mustard with Manny on July 20. Manny is 10 years Thurman’s senior, and yet this will be Manny’s third world championship fight over the past 12 months. Activity keeps fighters sharp. The lack of activity explains why Thurman has looked worse and worse over his last three fights. He’s like the Jeff Bridges character in The Big Lebowski. He just seems to be fighting as little as possible to keep his title. Only Thurman’s not The Dude; he’s The Dud. Manny will sizzle, and Thurman will fizzle when they battle it out in the ring at the MGM Grand on July 20. After that, it will be champagne and Lobster Thurmandor for us. Happy Fourth of July!”
Thurman’s last three fights, all wins, have been against Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, and Lopez. That’s a tough three fights, so while he has not been the most active and had only three fights in three years, the only time he did not look at his best was against Lopez, which he fought after two years out of the ring.
However, if he wants to beat Pacquiao, Thurman has to be at very best because even at age 40, Pacquiao is still one of the top fighters at 147.