By Miguel Rivera
Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum was not impressed with last Saturday’s performance by WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman.
Thurman, who snapped a near two-year layoff, won a twelve round unanimous decision over Josesito Lopez at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
During the seventh round of the fight, Thurman was badly hurt by Lopez and he appeared to be on the verge of getting stopped.
Thurman was able to survive the round, but he stayed on the move for the remainder of the contest – boxing and using his legs as Lopez continued to pursue him around with knockout intentions.
After the fight was over, Thurman called for a fight with Manny Pacquiao, who holds the WBA’s secondary title at welterweight.
Two weeks ago, Pacquiao dominated Adrien Broner over twelve rounds at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In the opinion of Arum, Thurman could have easily been stopped during the seventh round drama.
He believes Thurman is not the same fighter, after being on the shelf for nearly two years due to injuries.
“I do not think Thurman can keep fighting, I think he looked terrible against Lopez,” Arum said to Fight Hub.
“Let’s be honest, Lopez is not an elite fighter, he never was, and he hurt Thurman in the seventh round, and it is well known that Lopez is not a knockout artist and the referee could have stopped the fight in that round.”
Regarding a potential fight between Pacquiao and Thurman, Arum believes the Filipino superstar can win.
Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, would like to see the Thurman fight happen.
“Yes, I think it’s a fight that he can win, it is,” Arum said. “I think Freddie (Roach) saw the same thing as me.”
Pacquiao and Thurman are both under the Premier Boxing Champions banner – which makes their negotiations very easy.