Keith Thurman understands why frustrated fans complain about his lack of activity over the past 8½ years.

Thurman, too, wishes he would’ve fought more frequently since he beat Robert Guerrero and Luis Collazo over a four-month span nearly nine years ago. The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion has boxed only five times since he stopped Collazo after the seventh round of their July 2015 bout at the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome in Tampa.

The 35-year-old Thurman will end a 25-month layoff when he squares off against Australia’s Tim Tszyu on March 30 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Clearwater, Florida native is anxious to prove that he can still thrive at boxing’s elite level in what will be his first fight since he unanimously outpointed Mario Barrios in their 12-round welterweight bout in February 2022 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino’s Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

“This is just what I do,” Thurman told “I know boxing, I talk boxing, but I really can perform. And I’m really looking forward to doing it one more time. It’s another opportunity for me to show my greatness, for me to bring exciting action into a beautiful sport for the fans. Apologies to those who have been holding out and been in my corner the whole time, who have never fell off the Keith Thurman bandwagon.

“I know it’s challenging for you all. I know you want to see more. I wish I would’ve done more, but I’ve still got more left in the tank. I’m 35 years old. This is the second leg of my career. And the way that I was able to bring you exciting fights at 147, I look forward to doing that in another weight class come March 30th.”

Thurman thought this layoff would’ve ended within the first half of 2023, when he believed he would finally face rival Errol Spence Jr. in a 12-round, 154-pound bout. Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) ultimately passed on fighting Thurman in favor of facing Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs), who dropped Spence three times and stopped him in the ninth round of their stunningly one-sided welterweight title unification fight July 29 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Thurman was later led to believe he would fight former WBA welterweight champ Yordenis Ugas (27-6, 12 KOs), but Barrios (28-2, 18 KOs) instead defeated the Cuban veteran by unanimous decision to win the WBC interim welterweight title September 30 at T-Mobile Arena.

Those two situations left Thurman inactive throughout 2023. With few appealing options available within the 147-pound division, Thurman moved up to fight Tszyu, the WBO junior middleweight champion, in a 12-round, non-title fight at a contracted catch weight of 155 pounds.

“I’m just not a couch potato,” Thurman said. “We really were trying to make something manifest [in 2023]. When Spence bypassed me as a mandatory, that was very unfortunate on my end. And then Mario Barrios wound up getting Ugas, so I wasn’t able to get Ugas in the ring last year. That was another unfortunate event. Those things are what just kept me in and out, in and out.”

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) and Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) will headline a Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view show that will be distributed by Amazon Prime Video. The March 30 card topped by Thurman-Tszyu will mark the start of PBC’s new partnership with Amazon Prime.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.