There’s a nice ring to being a two-division world champion.
Former titlist and career-long welterweight Keith Thurman has flirted with the idea of moving up to 154 possibly to face someone like Erislandy Lara, the southpaw Cuban who currently holds a secondary WBA middleweight belt and has mentioned Thurman as a possible opponent. But Thurman has also noted that he has plenty of incentives to stick around at 147, where presumably there may even be a chance to challenge Errol Spence Jr. should Spence’s negotiations with Terence Crawford fail to lead anywhere.
However, should there be a title at stake at 154—and the money right—Thurman believes that such an opportunity will be too enticing to turn down.
“I said I was willing to move up because Lara mentioned my name,” Thurman said in an interview with FightHubTV. “He mentioned Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman. It just seems like he just wants to fight a name. At the end of the day, I said I’d be willing to do that too.
“If that’s the best contract I can get right here right now and be a three-time two-division world champion, you know—I don't want to be at ’54, I am devoted to ’47. But when you say those words out loud ‘three time, two divisional world champion, Keith One Time Thurman’—Okay, that’s sounding a little too nice. You send the paperwork over, I’ll probably sign it.”
The Clearwater, Florida, native returned to the ring with a points win over Mario Barrios in February, marking the first time he fought in more than 30 months since his loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2019.
Thurman, 33, also expressed interest in a possible rematch with Garcia. Thurman defeated Garcia by split decision in 2017. Talk of that fight gained traction over the weekend after the Philadelphia native made his debut at 154 against Jose Benavidez Jr., winning a decision. After the bout Garcia called out Thurman to a rematch, to which Thurman responded on social media by saying that “Danny Garcia can never pass the Keith Thurman test! I beat that boy with bone spurs, you see, I wasn’t even at my best.”
Whatever fight he ends up with next, Thurman made it clear he is not looking to coast as he approaches the back end of his career.
“Hey, I love big fights,” Thurman said. “I love great fights. I’m addicted to the game for a reason. This didn’t happen yesterday. I’ve been addicted [to big fights] a long time. You know? ... That fight with Manny Pacquiao, I would’ve fought to the death. The arena—it was like the coliseum. Ah, ah. It was like we were back 1,000 years ago.”