Keith Thurman may be an undefeated welterweight world champion, but he will be coming to the ring on January 26 having not fought for 22 months. His opponent, Josesito Lopez, said he won't get ahead of himself and be reckless because of Thurman's time off the ring.
Thurman and Lopez are set to headline a PBC on Fox card from Brooklyn for the WBA "Super" welterweight title. Thurman may be the favorite heading into the fight, but some believe his inactivity means the perfect opportunity for someone to jump in and pull off a surprise victory.
Lopez recently spoke to Fightful on a media conference call and when asked if Lopez will look to be aggressive in the early rounds to take advantage of Thurman's ring rust, the title challenger responded by saying that might not happen.
“No, not necessarily I would say that. I’m going in there with a smart gameplan and win round by round. We’ve worked on every aspect of our game, so we’re prepared mentally and physically. We’re just going in there and doing our thing. It’s not necessarily going in there and jump on him early, but I’m prepared as many rounds as it will can take,” Lopez said.
Although Lopez is being viewed as an underdog in their fight on January 26, he said he doesn't let it bother him throughout training camp and uses his underdog status as extra motivation.
“I don’t feel like people are overlooking me. I don’t mind it. Does it bother me? Not at all. It has motivated me. I’m definitely ready and to whoever would be surprised, I’m taking the belt on Saturday,” Lopez said.
Lopez will competing for a world title just for the second time in his career but will do so riding a three-fight win streak since his last defeat, a 2015 loss to Berto. You can listen to Lopez's brief chat with Fightful in the video above.