Thurman Not Expected to Fight Vargas in May 19 Return to Ring

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Jessie Vargas wasn’t part of Showtime’s “2018 Boxing Upfront” for good reason Wednesday.

Despite rampant speculation over the past month, has learned Vargas will not be Keith Thurman’s opponent for Thurman’s comeback bout from elbow surgery. Vargas, a former WBO welterweight champion, has openly discussed his willingness to challenge Thurman for his WBA and WBC 147-pound championships, but that assignment will go to an opponent to be determined.

Thurman’s return was announced as part of Showtime’s event Wednesday at Cipriani’s in Manhattan. His opponent was not named, however, for a fight that is scheduled for May 19 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.


Thurman wouldn’t even hint at who he’ll fight after taking the stage with 20 other Premier Boxing Champions fighters.

“To be announced,” Thurman said. “But I’m very happy to be stepping back into the ring. It’s been a long time off. The recovery and the injury is not what I wanted it to be. But I’ve got two titles right here. We will be defending them on the 19th. We will be back in New York for the boxing fans that I believe love me the most. I believe this city loves me the most and I respect that.”

The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) hasn’t fought since he defeated Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) by split decision in their welterweight title unification fight March 4 at Barclays Center. The Clearwater, Florida, native had elbow surgery a month-and-a-half later and his rehabilitation took longer than Thurman expected.

Thurman thought in the fall that he would return to the ring by March. Coming back May 19 means his hiatus will have lasted 14½ months.

Las Vegas’ Vargas, meanwhile, signed with adviser Al Haymon because there are so many attractive welterweight fights that can be made against PBC boxers. He made his PBC debut December 15, when he out-boxed Mexico’s Aaron Herrera (38-3-1, 22 KOs) to win a 10-round unanimous in Lancaster, California.

It appears Vargas (28-2, 10 KOs) will have to wait a little longer, though, to get the type of high-profile fight he seeks.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Butch.McRae on 01-26-2018

[QUOTE=Sosay;18439365]"I" always try to look at the top fights as closer than they probably are. Wishful thinking on my part, hoping for a great fight but we all know (Thurman) included what those bodyshot are going to do. Hopefully he…

Comment by Sosay on 01-26-2018

[QUOTE=Butch.McRae;18434104]I feel you but Thurman v Spence is more like 70/30 in favor of Spence lol[/QUOTE] "I" always try to look at the top fights as closer than they probably are. Wishful thinking on my part, hoping for a great…

Comment by Bigg Rigg on 01-26-2018

He's fighting the tough and gritty TBA

Comment by KillaMane26 on 01-25-2018

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;18433995]He's coming off surgery. It's fine if he fights a tune up in his first fight back.[/QUOTE] Exactly when DSG goes and fight Rios just because he coming off a lost, that he thought he won...But then again it's Cherry…

Comment by chepboxingking on 01-25-2018

[QUOTE=Eff Pandas;18435379]I don't think its his activity as much as his words & seemingly lack of desire to make THE FIGHT at 147 this year. Its January ffs & this half a homo looking mfer is talking about 2019 for…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (78)
Top Headlines Photos: Daniel Jacobs Putting in Work For Derevyanchenko DiBella: Derevyanchenko Will Emerge As A Star Saturday Night Maurice Hooker vs. Alex Saucedo - Undercard Revealed Photos: Hughie Fury, Kubrat Pulev - Putting in Work Charlo vs. Monroe, Charlo vs. Harrison - Finalized For 12/22 Kell Brook Keeps Tight-Lipped on Talk of Dominic Ingle Split Michael Conlan Pumped To Fight on Same Card as Carl Frampton Cornflake LaManna vs. Mike Arnaoutis on November 16 LeShawn Rodriguez Aims To Impress on Facebook Watch Card Khabib Holds Talks in Moscow, Hoping For Mayweather Fight Martin Murray Added To Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton Card Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin - Undercard Update Jaime Munguia Will Make Defense in December or January DiBella: Hunger Will Separate Derevyanchenko From Jacobs Hearn: Only Way Fury Beats Wilder Is To Bore Pants Off Everyone Callum Johnson Talks Beterbiev, Badou Jack, European Title Shot Mundine Vows To Sit if Anthem is Played Before Horn Fight Brian Rose Aims To Stop The Run of Luke Keeler on Dec. 14 Fielding: If I Beat Canelo at MSG - I'll Be The New Face of Boxing! Canelo May Consider Remaining at Super Middleweight Gilberto Ramirez Training Hard For Jesse Hart Rematch Jose Zepeda Breaks Down, Stops Domicio Rondon in Seven Regis Prograis Explains Flanagan Pick, Only Wants Best Fights Loeffler: Canelo Needs Golovkin More Than GGG Needs Him! Julian Williams: Munguia is Green as Grass, I'll Never Get Him Malignaggi on McGregor Loss: He's Bigger P*ssy Than I Thought! Murata: I'm Not Good With Quick Feet Fighters, I Took a Beating Machado: Everyone Knows I'm Real WBA Champ, Not Gervonta Davis Tommy Fury, Tyson's Brother, Aims To Be a World Champion Anthony Yigit Warns Ivan Baranchyk To Expect To Get Shocked Brant's Promoter Says Murata Rematch is Real Possibility Neeco Macias vs. Jesus Soto Karass - Nov. 8, Golden Boy on ESPN Christopher Diaz is Back: November 24 in San Juan, Puerto Rico Canelo, Golden Boy Deal Extended By Four Fights, Says Gomez Photos: Hughie Fury Hits Sofia as Kubrat Pulev Clash Looms Photos: Sullivan Barrera, Seanie Monaghan - Putting in Work Hearn: How Can Mayweather Hold Back Davis From Making More Money? Hughie Fury Not Bothered By Likely Hostile Crowd in Sofia Michael Conlan Officially Added To Frampton-Warrington Card UK News: Tommy Fury Debut, Jack Brubaker, Bob Yalen

Latest Active Forum Threads