Former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is negotiating to face Yordenis Ugas in August for the WBC interim 147-lb title.
If the Thurman-Ugas fight gets made, the winner will likely be elevated to full WBC welterweight champion after whoever emerges victorious in the Errol Spence Jr vs. Terence Crawford fights vacates the belts to move up to 154.
Despite being inactive for 17 months, Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) is ranked #1 with the World Boxing Council at welterweight, and the 36-year-old Ugas (27-5, 12 KOs) is ranked #3.
Ugas hasn’t fought in 15 months since his tenth round stoppage loss to Errol Spence Jr in April of last year.
It’s unclear what has suddenly gotten the 34-year-old Thurman off the sofa to resume his career because he’s failed to get the massive payday fight that he’d hoped to against IBF, WBA & WBC welterweight champion Spence.
Is Thurman broke?
Some boxing fans believe Thurman has spent all his money after fighting just three times in the last six years since 2017, and has no choice but to return to the ring for a mini-heist against the 36-old Ugas.
When you think about all the years that Thurman has wasted in his career, it’s sad. He could have gone a lot more in the sport, created a lasting legacy, and made a ton of money. Instead, he’s stayed out of the ring for long stretches, and now he’s returning in his mid-30s.
“I heard of Yordenis Ugas with Keith Thurman for August. Tremendous, huh?” said Salvador Rodriguez of ESPN Deportes on Twitter.
“I’m starting to realize that I’m playing with fire, you know? Thurman doesn’t need to be putting in all these extra rounds, putting all these boxing performances, even though it was beautiful and I got a lot of compliments,” said Keith Thurman to Brian Custer’s Youtube channel.
“They said, ‘Man, your boxing was beautiful. You schooled that boy. You couldn’t tell that he was an ex-world champion,'” said Thurman about his win 17 months ago in his last fight against former WBA 140-lb champion Mario Barrios, who had already been knocked out lightweight by Gervonta Davis.
Why is Thurman making a big deal about beating Mario Barrios? That shows you how low the bar Thurman has set for what he feels is an achievement, making a big production about beating a former paper champion that had already been knocked out by Gervonta Davis, a lightweight.
“Some people were comparing [me to Tank Davis], like, ‘Oh well, couldn’t stop him.’ I heard Mario say on a podcast, ‘I know what
Tank did, but Thurman was different.’ It’s like I took away his fighting spirit in the fight with my movement and just showed him that ‘you thought you had confidence in your boxing, but your boxing is somewhere on an elementary middle school level.’
“This is a scholar. I’m a boxing scholar, and I just wanted to take the boy to school, and I did that,” said Thurman, still reveling about his tune-up win against Barrios.