By Jake Donovan
One month later, Keith Thurman still has no regrets.
The former welterweight titlist suffered the first loss of his career in a close but clear decision to legendary Manny Pacquiao this past July in Las Vegas, Nev. The event was a commercial success, rating as the best-selling pay-view event of 2019.
“At the end of the day, it was and still the biggest fight of my career and on the biggest platform,” Thurman (29-1, 22KOs) pointed out while reflecting back during a recent installment of Inside PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) Boxing. “We fought a legend and I lost to a legend. I’ve always said I’m not afraid to lose my ‘0.’
“Keith Thurman is still living the dream every time he steps into the ring.”
In the month since suffering the lone defeat—and the second knockdown—of his career, Thurman has been living the dream outside the ring. Whereas others would wallow in pity and go overboard in citing motivational quotes, the always-mellow 30-year old Floridian has chosen to experience life.
“The fight was a tremendous fight. The camp was grueling,” Thurman recalled. “Right after the fight, we spent a few extra days in Vegas. I saw my grandparents out in Ohio. I spent them time over there and now I’m back on the West Coast.
Along the way, he’s also had time to look back on the fight itself. Thurman entered the night having held a major title for more than four years, but the bout came six months into his return to the ring following a near two-year hiatus due to rehabilitating multiple injuries. His night got off a rocky start, hitting the deck in the opening round. It was a terrific fight from there, but with the 40-year old Pacquiao turning back the clock as the Filipino southpaw re-established himself as one of the best welterweights—and pound-for-pound boxers—in the world today.
“This whole month has been a digesting process, you know,” Thurman admitted. “I mean, truthtfully, I didn’t feel like I lost in the moment. Two judges saw Manny Pacquiao win. With millions of people watching, there’s only three people who matter and those are the judges. They saw it for Manny Pacquiao. I just have to learn from the experience. It’s not like I wasn’t in the fight.
“I just have to sit back, reflect and come back strong. I’m young. I still have a lot to give to the sport. Even though I lost, I gained so much. The Filipino fans, they have so much respect. Just any boxing fan—I have fans that hated me, now they support Keith Thurman. I’m proud of that.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox