WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman is still very motivated to fight Manny Pacquiao by the end of the year.
Pacquiao holds the WBA’s “regular” title in the weight class.
Last month, Thurman snapped a 22-month layoff when he won a twelve round majority decision over Josesito Lopez. Most observers felt Thurman had won decisively.
After his victory, Thurman openly called for a fight with Pacquiao.
Also last month, Pacquiao returned to the United States to win a lopsided twelve round decision over former four division champion Adrien Broner at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Freddie Roach, who is once again training Pacquiao, has no issue with facing Thurman in the very near future.
“I want to fight Manny Pacquiao,” Thurman told Premier Boxing Champions. “Imagine what Pacquiao-Thurman is going to look like? He looked well at the age of 40. He looked strong. By the way Broner was fighting, he was respecting the power. Pacquiao-Thurman is a good fight. And when’s the last time Pacquiao fought an undefeated fighter?
“I’m hoping to hear some words from Team Pacquiao,” said Thurman. “We both fought early this year and I’d be willing to negotiate a fight for anytime he deems fit; summer, after the summer, September, October. I think it would be a great fight for the sport. Let’s make it happen.”
Thurman does have one concern.
If Mikey Garcia is able to pull off a major upset next month, when he faces IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, then Thurman strongly believes that a contest between Pacquiao and Garcia will get made.
But, Thurman is not banking on a Garcia victory.
“I do believe that if Mikey Garcia beats Errol Spence Jr. on March 16, then Pacquiao-Garcia is a must for the sport of boxing. That’s my opinion. Why not take the momentum of this lighter guy who, if he beats Spence, is the new Manny Pacquiao? But I don’t think Mikey wins. I’ve known him since the amateurs and he’s a great fighter. But we have weight classes for a reason,” Thurman said.
“There are other options and fights I’m interested in, like Porter and Spence. They have youth on their side. Who knows how long Pacquiao is out there? For once in my career, I see Pacquiao in my sights and feels like he’s in my reach. So why not stretch my arm out and try to get it?”