WBC and WBA welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman tells RingTV that he’s still rehabbing his surgically repaired right elbow while also explaining how he’s had to manage the lingering injury leading up to the Danny Garcia fight.
Thurman says that he knew something was wrong with his elbow during training camp and had to cut down on sparring and other activities so he could make it through the Garcia bout. As Thurman put it, if he was going to exacerbate the injury by using his right arm, he might as well have saved it for when it counted most — the actual fight.
With Thurman successfully unifying two welterweight titles on that night, and fellow welterweight Errol Spence Jr. going on to snag the IBF title away from Kell Brook just a couple months later, naturally all the fan attention turned to a potential showdown between the two fighters. And while Spence has been all up for a Thurman fight for quite some time now, Thurman has tempered expectations by exclaiming that he has no plans to fight Spence this year.
Of course making such a statement has caused fans to ridicule Thurman for avoiding Spence, and ironically so since he once used to call out fighters for doing the same to him. But Thurman says he’s really not afraid of him, he’s just manipulating the chessboard.
“I don’t have a problem fighting the best. I’ve already proven that many times. Some people think I’m scared. I’m not scared. I’m just playing my cards right. If you want to be a winner, you’ve got to play your cards right. When was the last time [there were three unified belts] in the welterweight division? Floyd Mayweather didn’t do it in his whole career.
“It is a historical event, so it’s going to need the recognition it deserves. It should happen in a timely fashion, obviously, but it can’t happen right after a surgery. I look forward to any challenge. I definitely look forward to great challenges, but what I look forward to the most is being the winner and making history.”
Thurman also tells fans that they can choose to get riled up over the wait between now and whenever that fight happens, or just simply enjoy the anticipation and the fights the come in the interim. That’s probably not a philosophy that’s going to resonate with most, but Thurman is clearly in no hurry.