Keith Thurman is ready to make a comeback after nearly one year away from the ring recovering physically from left-hand surgery and emotionally from his first career loss to the hands of Manny Pacquiao.
The 31-year-old Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) knows that once his return to the squared circle is set, his battles with the scales that he endured before the competitive split decision defeat to Pacquaio will no longer be an issue.
“The No. 1 thing I blame [in the Pacquaio loss] is my weight control. As far as self-discipline, I failed on that. I think I can take the weight off more slowly and not rapidly,” Thurman told PepTalkUK. “I had to put a lot of strain on my body that he didn’t have to put on his body, but I did it to myself. There’s no one else to blame. It was a great learning experience.”
One Time wants to live up to his moniker, as he promised that’s the only time any of his fights will be close moving forward.
“There’s no one going to beat me by one point ever again,” said Thurman. “It’s going to be hard for a lot of people. The fight [against Pacquiao] wasn’t lost in the first round. It was lost somewhere around the tenth … There was a moment where I saw the fight pretty much as a draw. It was at that moment where I accepted a draw with two rounds to go where I lost the fight. I believe if I had pushed and convinced myself that I needed a knockdown, even if I fell short of it, maybe the performance of that would have led to the draw.
“I wonder if I didn’t stay so calm whether that would have affected the fight. It’s been a long time since I dominated, destroyed and got rid of my opponent.”
Thurman said that he learned a lot from the Pacquiao fight, and that he’s looking forward to evolving and putting his findings back in the boxing ring.
“Upsets happen, but the real champions come right back, and that’s what I plan on doing,” said Thurman.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.