Keith Thurman eyes Manny Pacquiao super fight next after triumphant return from injury over Josesito Lopez

‘One Time’ successfully defended his WBA super welterweight world title on points and could face the legendary Filipino next

Jack Rathborn
Sunday 27 January 2019 14:29
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Keith Thurman is eyeing up a fight vs Manny Pacquiao next
Keith Thurman is eyeing up a fight vs Manny Pacquiao next

Keith Thurman’s body held up well enough to triumph over a game Josesito Lopez to retain his WBA super welterweight world title on points following a two-year absence through injury.

‘One Time’ has overcome elbow and hand problems, and had to display a durable chin too, following a frantic seventh round. Thurman ultimately grabbed a majority decision: 115-111 and 117-109 in his favour with a 113-113 draw on the third card.

And after successfully retaining his WBA strap (his WBC crown was vacated during his layoff), regular champion Manny Pacquiao could be up next.

Lopez was dropped in the second round, but rallied to dominate the seventh in a display of courage and perseverance, but Thurman maintained his composure to convince the judges and move to 29-0.

Pacquiao, after outclassing Adrien Broner this month, has been linked with a rematch against Floyd Mayweather, but if the retired American resists the urge for another money-spinner, Thurman would be happy to mix it with the legendary Filipino.

Keith Thurman lands on Josesito Lopez

“I would most likely definitely take the Manny Pacquiao fight this year,” Thurman said.

“I feel good. That was a beautiful fight. I’m ready to fight wherever Pacquiao wants it.”

Thurman admitted he was shaken to his boots in the seventh and whilst he admitted he was not at his best, he insisted the performance was still world class.

Keith Thurman and Josesito Lopez embrace after their fight (Getty )

“He had me buzzed and shaken up in the seventh round, but I tried to stay on the outside away,” Thurman said.

“He came right for me. I said you wouldn’t see the best Keith Thurman tonight, but you’d still see a world-class performance, and I gave you that tonight.”

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