Only one day before they weigh-in for their primetime showdown, WBA welterweight world champion Keith “One Time” Thurman and veteran contender Josesito Lopez went face-to-face at the final press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes event from Barclays Center.
Thurman is back for the first time since beating Danny Garcia, by twelve round split decision, in March of 2017.
In that contest he unified the WBC, WBA welterweight titles. The WBC title was eventually vacated due to injuries and inactivity.
Now Thurman wants to make a statement.
He believes that he’s still the top welterweight in a very loaded division, and aims to prove that fact on Saturday night.
“It’s a tremendous feeling to be back in this position. It’s an honor to be working with FOX and I’m excited for this new platform. I’ve got new health and I’m just ready for Saturday night. I’ve been to several fights in my time off and it’s felt like a lifetime. Saturday night, the champ is back. Brooklyn, we’re here,” Thurman said.
“There’s always a little level of nerves for a fight, but it’s mostly anticipation. This is the world class level. I’m proud to be champion and I always want to be champion. The nerves are very natural, but they are not overpowering. I like to carry some nerves with me for each fight. Josesito has a lot of confidence. He has been training hard and I know that’s where his confidence comes from, because that’s where I get it from. When I’m on the battlefield, I go to war.
“It’s always my job to do my best. Win, lose or draw, people will have something to say about it. I’m fighting to stay at the top. We want to showcase our skills and remind people that I am ‘One Time’ and I am a big puncher. I’m going to have fun in there. I can find so many avenues to win. Josesito Lopez is a good fighter, but he’s like swiss cheese, he’s got holes throughout. It’s only a matter of me exposing them round-by-round.”