Before Keith Thurman's win over Josesito Lopez in January, it had been nearly two years since he fought inside the ring, but now that he's back, the boxing world eagerly awaits his next major fight.
The welterweight division is up for grabs for the WBA "Super" champion as WBA "Regular" champion Manny Pacquiao, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. and WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter are all fighting for Premier Boxing Champions. But only one of those fighters, Porter, has actually fought Thurman in the past back in 2016.
In regards to a possible rematch against Thurman, Porter recently spoke to Fightful to give his thoughts on the idea. In a previous interview with Fightful back in August 2018, Porter said he didn't want to commit to fighting Thurman until he sees him in action once again.
"I think he’s taken too much time off. I think he’s probably gotten out of shape and obviously on top of injuries. I don’t want to be the first guy he comes back and fights. I’m a really tough guy to beat and he barely beat me the first time. I feel like there’s too many excuses to be made [if Thurman loses an immediate rematch]," Porter told Fightful last year.
Fast forward to January 26, 2019 and Thurman returned to action at the Barclays Center in the main event of a PBC on Fox card against Lopez. Although Thurman was victorious, it wasn't an easy fight for the long-time world champion as he faced a game Lopez that pushed him to only a majority decision win.
But what does Porter think of his former rival's performance? If you're expecting Porter to issue a challenge to unify world titles Thurman now, you might be disappointed. Although Porter is confident he will defeat Yordenis Ugas on March 9 in their main event bout in California, Porter will not pursue a fight against Thurman for the time being.
“We’ll see what happens. I’ll definitely beat Yordenis Ugas, but I don’t think Keith looked comfortable in the ring. He didn’t look confident and sure of himself. I think he still needs some kinks to get out and it’ll still take some time. If he wants to fight, then we’ll do it. If he says, ‘I want you now,’ then we’ll do it. Outside of that, if he’s not calling my name, then right now, at this very moment, we might look elsewhere because I didn’t see the vintage Keith Thurman that I hoped I would see. Obviously, I didn’t expect to see everything that you see that you’ve seen from Keith Thurman in the past given that he’s been gone for so long. However, I just thought I may have seen 50 percent of what I expected to see and that just wasn’t enough for me,” Porter said.
Porter will defend his WBC title against Ugas in the main event of a PBC on Fox card from the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on March 9.
The full interview between Porter and Fightful can be seen in the video at the top of the page.