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Keith Thurman ready to pick up where he left off when he returns against Josesito Lopez in Brooklyn on January 26

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Undefeated WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman 28-0 (22) is champing at the bit to get back in the ring when he defends his world title over 12-rounds against WBA number seven contender Josesito Lopez 36-7 (19) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on January 26 live on FOX.

Despite spending almost two-years on the sidelines recovering from injuries the 30-year-old from Clearwater, Florida insists he is in fine physical form.

“I feel great physically,” Thurman said to Fightnews. “We’re working really hard and just getting back into everything we did before the injury. It feels tremendous and I’m so happy to be able to do this back in Brooklyn. January 26, you will see the return of the number one welterweight in the world.

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“I need to come back and stay active and healthy. I’m going to remind everyone this year why I’m one of the baddest men on the planet. At the end of the day, I’m here to make a statement that ‘One Time’ is back.

“I have one belt and I’m missing one belt. I’m going to re-establish my own accomplishments this year, then go from there. We’re taking it one fight at a time. Right now my eyes are set on Josesito Lopez.

“I’m a world-class fighter. I’ve fought through injuries my whole career. A real fighter ends up getting addicted to the game. There’s nothing better in this life than being under those lights and being part of the action.”

In his last bout Thurman secured a split decision victory over then-unbeaten Danny Garcia in WBA/WBC 147-pound unification bout at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in March 2017.

According to Thurman, that victory was just the start.

“My legacy is not over. Unification against Danny Garcia was not enough for me. Ultimately, I’m just waiting to be presented with a man who is better than me. There might not be one, but I’m not afraid to let my ‘0’ go,” he said.

“I need fights like this against a guy like Josesito Lopez. He’s going to be there and give the fans a great fight. He’s coming to take me out. He looked like he was in shape a month ago when I first saw him.

“It’s been a long time and I’m truly honoured to be back. It’s been hard for me to not be in the ring while I wait for the elbow to recover. I’m so happy to be back.”

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