AFTER almost two years out of boxing WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman will return to action on January 26 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
He will fight Riverside veteran Josesito Lopez. “I need fights like this against a guy like Josesito Lopez. He’s going to be there and give the fans a great fight. He’s coming to take me out. He looked like he was in shape a month ago when I first saw him,” Thurman said. “I have one belt, and I’m missing one belt. I’m going to re-establish my own accomplishments this year, then go from there. We’re taking it one fight at a time. Right now my eyes are set on Josesito Lopez.
“I’m a world-class fighter. I’ve fought through injuries my whole career. A real fighter ends up getting addicted to the game. There’s nothing better in this life than being under those lights and being part of the action.”
“I feel great physically. We’re working really hard and just getting back into everything we did before the injury. It feels tremendous and I’m so happy to be able to do this back in Brooklyn. January 26, you will see the return of the number one welterweight in the world,” Thurman continued. “I need to come back and stay active and healthy. I’m going to remind everyone this year why I’m one of the baddest men on the planet. At the end of the day, I’m here to make a statement that ‘One Time’ is back.
“My legacy is not over. Unification against Danny Garcia was not enough for me. Ultimately, I’m just waiting to be presented with a man who is better than me. There might not be one, but I’m not afraid to let my ‘0’ go.
“It’s been a long time and I’m truly honored to be back. It’s been hard for me to not be in the ring while I wait for the elbow to recover. I’m so happy to be back.”
It’s a big opportunity for Josesito Lopez. “We’re both experienced fighters who have fought world class competition. I’ve faced my share of tough heavy punchers. I’ve pretty much seen it all. Come January 26, we’re going into deep waters and we’ll see how each of us reacts,” Lopez said. “No matter how active Thurman has been, the importance of this opportunity doesn’t change. If anything we might see a better and healthier Keith Thurman than we’ve seen in years. I’m expecting the best Keith Thurman there is.
“I’m going in against one of the toughest welterweights out there. I don’t need anyone to believe in me but myself. I’m going to give it my all to come out with that title.”