NEARLY a year after they fought, American Keith Thurman is keen on having a rematch with reigning World Boxing Association welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, believing the outcome will be different if they clash in a repeat encounter.
“I want the opportunity to get my title back. It was my title that Pacquiao took and I would love that opportunity,” Thurman told Jake Donovan of boxingscene.com in a story posted on the website yesterday.
Then unbeaten, Thurman, the WBA super welterweight champion, suffered an opening-round knockdown en route to losing his crown by a close split decision to Pacquiao on July 20, 2019 at the packed MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
The loss was “One Time’s” first in 30 matches while Pacman emerged as the undisputed WBA welterweight champion, boosting his stock with his 62nd win, 39 of them by knockout, against seven losses and two draws.
Majority of the top welterweight champions such as World Boxing Organization Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr., the reigning World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation welterweight kingpin, respectively, are now lining up for a possible match against Pacquiao, hoping for a big payday once the novel coronavirus pandemic blows over.
Thurman acknowledged that he would have to wait in line because “it is not mandated or forced upon him (Pacquiao). So it’s really just up to him. Until he finishes his career. I will demand that rematch,” he said.
Although he lost, the Clearwater, Florda native said he relished his initial meeting with the popular Pinoy ring icon and expressed the hope they would be given the chance to slug it out anew.
“I would really love to share the ring with him once again,” Thurman said. “It was such an amazing experience. It was one of my favorites of all time. I’d love to relive it and possibly get that opportunity to get the belt back.
“It was arguably one of Pacquiao’s best performances of all time, just the action of the fight. I had people who told me afterward, after the 12th round, they were waiting for more action. Nobody knew the fight was over,” he said.