By Mark Eisner: Former IBF/WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman won’t be back in action for the remainder of 2019 following surgery to repair a problem with his left hand, according to Yahoo Sports News. Thurman now has a cast on his left hand where the surgery was performed.
Thurman recently lost a narrow 12 round split decision against Manny Pacquiao on July 20, and he wasn’t expected to return until 2020 anyway. But with the hand surgery, that makes it definite that ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) won’t be returning to action until 2020. Thurman needs to heal up, and come back strong next year. He’s had pain in his left hand for years, and he had to finally fix the problem.
Thurman, 30, had surgery on his left hand earlier this month on September 4. He’s hoping that when he does return to the ring in 2020, he’ll be 100% healthy, and ready to go.
Keith Thurman suffered hand injury several years ago
Thurman suffered the hand injury three years ago while working out on a heavy bag, and he’s endured the pain from the injury all this time, according to Yahoo Sports. He was told by a doctor that the injury wouldn’t heal on rest alone, so he chose to have surgery performed on it. His hand was repaired by Dr. Jonathan Oheb in Encino, California.
Last July, Thurman was beaten by 40-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) by a 12 round split decision. The scores were 115-112, 115-112 for Pacquiao, and 114-113 for Thurman. It was a close fight with Thurman landing a lot of punishing blows to the head of Pacquiao. However, the Filipino hurt Thurman to the body a couple of times, and finished strong in the championship rounds to get the victory. Thurman was knocked down in round 1, and hurt with a body shot in the 10th.
“The surgery was a bone fusion, so they fused some of my metacarpals,” Thurman said to Yahoo Sports News. “There is not an issue with my fingers or the knuckles that I make a fist with. IT feels so much better now. Right after surgery, it was quite painful with a lot of initial swelling. Right now, it feels good and it’s not swollen as it was. I’m not on any pain meds or anything.”
Thurman had elbow surgery in 2017
Keith has been having problems with injuries since his fight with Danny Garcia in March 2017. One Time suffered an elbow injury in that fight that kept him out of the ring for close to two years. Thurman had elbow surgery to remove bone spurs after his 12 round split decision victory over Garcia, and he couldn’t come back quickly from that problem.
When Thurman did try and come back too soon, he suffered a hand bruise, and that kept him out of action a little longer. While Thurman was inactive, he was stripped of his WBC welterweight title by the World Boxing Council. The WBA allowed Thurman to hold onto his title with their organization for the entire 22 months of inactivity that he had.
Thurman not as sharp since coming back
Earlier this year, Thurman launched his comeback in defeating Josesito Lopez by a harder than expected 12 round unanimous decision on January 26. Thurman was staggered by Lopez in the 7th round, and was almost knocked out. Although made it out of the fight without getting knocked out, he didn’t look like the same fighter that he once was. The two years out of the ring took something from Thurman’s game, as he wasn’t nearly as sharp as he had been in the past.
“I wasn’t at my best physically in either of them. I had to fight through it,” said Thurman. “[The pain] was there all year. It was there in the Josesito Lopez fight and it was there in the Pacquiao fight,” said Thurman.