Keith Thurman had a vision of an active year that would end with his becoming a three-time champ. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

As we creep deeper into the summer, it has become apparent that a three-fight 2022 campaign could be limited to just two fights. There is a shot, however, at fighting for at least a secondary title in lieu of re-entering the welterweight championship mix.

The former WBA/WBC welterweight champ is still sorting through several possibilities for his next fight, which he expects to come in October. A welterweight fight is obviously the preference but he is also considering a move up in weight, if only for one night. The target would be Erislandy Lara, a former junior middleweight titlist who currently holds the WBA ‘World’ middleweight title. The talented Cuban boxer previously dropped Thurman’s name as a potential future challenger, something that the career-long welterweight is willing to entertain as he awaits a firm update on his next ring adventure.

“If the right fights manifest in the upper divisions, I will consider it,” Thurman told, specifying Lara for such a fight. “It’s funny, all this time I thought Erislandy Lara was still in the 154-pound division until someone explained to me that he’s at 160. That’s why they said he’d fight me at a catchweight.

“We haven’t seen many fighters in history moving up from 147 to 160 and were successful. Taking on those historical challenges entices me more.”

The possibility of such a fight comes only as Thurman (30-1, 22KOs; 1ND) awaits a firm update on the possibility of an Errol Spence-Terence Crawford superfight for the undisputed welterweight championship. Such a fight has become the talk of the sport, though coming at the minor inconvenience of welterweight contenders waiting for their own shot at the division’s top prize.

It temporarily leaves Thurman’s career in limbo, just as he was hoping to make up for lost time.

The Clearwater, Florida native was out of the ring for more than 30 months following his lone career defeat to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019. Thurman returned with a triumphant unanimous decision win over Mario Barrios this past February 5 at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. It was his first victory in more than three years, when he outpointed Josesito Lopez in January 2019 after having been out of the ring for 22 months to that point.

Six months after beating Lopez, Thurman—who’d already given up his WBC title by that point—lost a split decision and his WBA belt to Pacquiao, with the urge ever since to win another title.

The welterweight belts are tied up, even if for whatever reason Spence and Crawford don’t meet later this year although every indication is that it’s already a done deal and just awaiting a firm fight date. Thurman has not weighed more than 152 pounds in fifteen years as a pro but is prepared to go even a few pounds more for the sake of answering the callout of a fighter eager to land a big name while in the twilight of his career.  

“That’s what it sounds like. We know he’s towards the end of his career. I’m not saying his next fight will be his last one. But he definitely wants to go out with a name,” acknowledges Thurman. “He’s someone I’ve known for many years. I’ve admired his boxing skills. I don’t want to assume but if we do try to assume it seems like he wants to go out with a valid list of names before it’s too late.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox