Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is ruminating as he heads into his first fight week in nearly three years that coincides with the start of Black History Month.
Thurman, the former unified world welterweight champion, takes on former super lightweight world champion Mario Barrios in the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View main event this Saturday, February 5 from Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The pay-per-view telecast will begin at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and also features four-division champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz dueling Keenan “Bedo” Carbajal in the co-main event of the four-fight lineup.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and are available at axs.com. To purchase the pay-per-view, go to FoxSports.com/ppv. Fight fans watching outside of the U.S. can purchase it through Fite.TV.
To kick off Black History Month, Thurman took a moment to pen an open letter to fight fans ahead of his ring return.
“Today is February 1, and as I look towards fight week, I am feeling a little bit of every emotion,” Thurman said. “I feel the excitement. Anticipation. A little bit of angst. A little bit of nerves.
“This is the start of Black History Month. In America, you grow up writing tons of essays in school, getting to learn about all the great ancestors before us. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, George Washington Carver. Black history, like any ethnicity, brings pride. Not pride in an egotistical sense, but pride in those who have set great examples for those to come.
“That resonates with me, especially looking at all the ancestors who set a great example for me in my life, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., for believing in the dream.
“Being raised in America, no matter what color your skin is, you can’t force people to look at you a certain way, but you can look at yourself a certain way. You can hold yourself up to the highest degree as a man or woman, and you can do your best to make your mother and father, as well as your ancestors, proud.
“To be here today, sacrifices were made. It’s made me aim higher – the next generation should continue to always aim higher.
“It’s my time to rise back up. I always go into fight week with a whole lot of passion. Fundamentally, I look forward to getting in the ring and doing my job. Seeing the fans. Hearing the people roar. And, all the things attached to fight week, including a terrific meal after I get off the scale.
“Fight week is the last week but it’s not the end. It’s not over until its truly over. When the performance is said and done, and our hand is held high, the journey is complete.
“This is my time – our time – to continue the example that our ancestors set for us.”