Keith Thurman wants Spence vs. Ugas winner, looking past Mario Barrios

by Jim Calva: Keith “One Time” Thurman is already looking past Saturday’s rematch against Mario Barrios to face Champion Errol Spence Jr. against Yordenis Ogas in the summer.

It’s not a good idea for Thurman to assume he’s going to defeat the 26-year-old Barrios (26-1, 17 KOs), considering he’s been out of the ring for an extended amount of time since his last match in 2019.

During the last press conference this week, Thurman looked terribly drained and not quite as healthy as Barrios.

Thurman stated that he came to boot camp with a weight of 172 pounds, which means he has to cut 25 pounds to get down to 147. It won’t be easy.

The difference between the two fighters was dramatic. Thurman looked like a much older fighter than Barrios, which makes it hard to imagine him winning the fight in the state he is in.

Former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is in a hurry to reclaim his throne as the #1 fighter at 147, which is why he’s focused on the Spence-Ogas fight.

Thurman looks at the winner of Spence vs. Ugas

“I knew he had the volume above me, but I look at his legs now. He must have pencil legs,” Keith Thurman said on Fight Hub TV on Mario Barrios.

“I look at his ankles, so he’s got this #2 pencil,” Thurman said of Barrios’ skinny legs. He has two pencil legs. It’s heavy, and has wider shoulders than I thought.

“When I first saw him, I said, ‘You’re a big little boy’ because he’s getting ahead in the weight class, but he’s got the size. He’s got the size. I can see why his team would let him go up.

“It’s up to him to show how much of a shot he got with me on Saturday night. Let’s see what his team did to create the welterweight version of Mario Barrios.

“He didn’t have to cut seven pounds to get down to 140, so he has to be stronger.

“We know certain things in boxing. Speed ​​is killer, strength is killer. Mario Barrios is famous for speed. Sure, it’s just the biggest fight out there.”

“the [Spence vs. Ugas] The winner will have all the belts [3 of the four at 147]. To be in the ring with Keith “One Time” Thurman, said Thurman, to bring the excitement into the ring.

Thurman’s management “once” will need to pressure Errol Spinsky, Jr. to fight him if he emerges victorious against Ogas.

Spence was adamant about not giving Thurman a major shot, so he would likely turn down any PPC push to fight once.

He understands how angry the fans are

“The fans support me. The only time they don’t support me is when I’m inactive because they know that when I’m active I can give them what they’re looking for,” Thurman said.

“When I’m not active, they get a little mad at me, and I understand that they’re expendable. But don’t worry. In 2022, I’m going to give you a lot of action.

“It’s been two and a half years, and I’m still fighting at 47,” Thurman said. “That was my first year in high school. Everyone says, ‘I wish I looked like I was in high school.'”

“They are not talking about their first year. They are referring to how they looked in their final year. 33 years old, the science of the sport and what we can do, we are still close to competing in the welterweight division.

“This is where I want to make history, and I’m thrilled to be back in beautiful Las Vegas. This is my first time performing at this arena, and I’m really excited about Saturday night,” Thurman said.

It’s unclear why 2022 is different for Thurman from the past two years in terms of his level of activity.

If Thurman doesn’t want to stay active in 2020 and 2021, why should anything be different in 2022?

Once you want to shrink it

If Thurman has any hope of beating the winner of the Spence-Ugas, he will need to keep his weight in check between fights. He couldn’t keep bulking up until the ’70s or ’80s, using his training camps as a fat farmer to lose weight.

“It’s the same challenge,” Thurman said when asked about cutting the weight down to 147. “This past week, this last rally, it has ups and downs. I call it “coming down” because we’re only going down.

“We’re only going to go down at 147, and then we’ll never see that number again. But that’s how every fight goes. I don’t go around at that little weight. We touch up, and then we scale back up a bit.

“For me, as a professional athlete who wants to extend his career as long as possible, the main focus this year is weight management. Off-season, I can’t get as high as 172 or 182 swings as I did in 2019.

“So, I made some mistakes in 2019; I learned from them. In this bootcamp, I didn’t start at 182; I started at 172, which is still 25lbs, and he is capable of world class fighters. But now, in this age We want to do less than that.

“Go beyond this; I want to maintain 165 weight. I have my own off-season team and they are really determined on how to achieve these goals. Just stay at the top of the welterweight division. “It won’t get any easier, that’s for sure,” Thurman said.

The problem for Thurman is that he hasn’t taken care of himself the way a professional athlete would.

If you compete professionally in any sport, you should keep fit during the rest period because your competitors are not as slack as you.

Staying active is key in 2022

“There have been layoffs for a long time before in my career,” Thurman said. “Every day in my life is one day closer to my next fight. So you can put in a 300 day gap, but that doesn’t matter.

“Every day in my life, I’m one step closer to fighting, how do I know that? Look where we are. Days from my next fight, and it’s been a long time.

“So with this mental philosophy and how I meditate every day brings me closer to one day, I am psychologically prepared for this confrontation. But I have to admit; I am tired of these long layoffs. I want to become an active fighter again.”

“2022 I really hope to be back this year to get the fighting fans excited and to keep myself busy and the sport of boxing in general,” Thurman said.

It’s hard to imagine Thurman fighting more than once in 2022, as he turns out not to be able to stay healthy or have enough motivation to stay active as he once did.

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