Saturday night did not go well for former champion, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs). He was supposed to defeat Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs) and break into the mainstream but instead, Pacquiao proved why he is one of the best fighters to step into the ring. Pacquiao won a unanimous decision and took Thurman’s WBA title along with his undefeated record. Thurman, however, showed true grit when he battled back in the middle rounds and at times seemed to be swinging the fight in his favor.
Thurman is still in his prime and clearly showed he can compete. He is still only 30 years old and has various options for his next fight. Lets see what those are.
Yordenis Ugas (24-4, 11 KOs) put on a great performance against Omar Figueroa Jr. (28-1-1, 19KOs) on the undercard of Saturday’s Pacquiao-Thurman card. Figueroa is a notoriously difficult opponent to face and was undefeated going into the fight, but Ugas neutralized the majority of his offense. He clinched smartly, counter punched well, used a solid jab and even dropped Figueroa in the first round. It was an all around solid performance that reinforces Ugas as a legitimate contender in the welterweight division. After all, Ugas gave WBC champion, Shawn Porter, all he could handle earlier this year and lost a highly-controversial split decision.
A fight with Keith Thurman would have a lot of incentive for both fighters. Thurman would have the opportunity to bounce back against a high level opponent who doesn’t necessarily possess concussive power, and Ugas would have the opportunity to defeat a former world champion where a victory would almost for sure grant him a title shot. I believe this is one of the best options for Thurman.
Danny Garcia (35-2, 21KOs) is strongly rumored to face Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30KOs) later this year and win or lose, he would be a viable option for Thurman. Garcia has been very vocal about wanting a rematch with Thurman and he would undoubtedly be eager to face Thurman next, regardless of whether or not he beats Mikey. The fight itself makes a lot of sense. Garcia would have the opportunity to avenge his loss against the man who took his undefeated record (and WBC world title), and Thurman has the opportunity to rebound against a high level opponent that he previously beat. Why is this imporant ? Because after the war he had with Pacquiao on Saturday, Thurman could very well be looking to rebound against a high level opponent that is also a winnable fight for him. Enter Danny Garcia.
Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12KOs) fought on Saturday’s card and did what he had to do. He knocked out a last minute replacement and continued his undefeated streak at welterweight. Lipinets is currently ranked no. 9 in the welterweight division according to Ring Magazine. He would be a solid option for Thurman, and would be a fight that Thurman is favored to win. A strong showing against Lipinets would get him back in the title picture and set him up for a future title shot. Lipinets would have the opportunity to defeat another former champion and skyrocket up the rankings.
Keith Thurman might’ve lost his fight on Saturday but he showed plenty of heart. It will be interesting to see how he responds after losing the first fight of his career. He has numerous options on the table and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back and fight for a title next year.