Undefeated double world welterweight boxing champion Keith Thurman will be out of the ring until the end of the year following right elbow surgery, his promoters announced Friday.

Despite severe pain in his right elbow, the 28-year-old American decisioned compatriot Danny Garcia in a March 4 showdown of unbeatens in New York to unify the 147-pound titles of the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council.

But Thurman returned to New York for an April 19 operation to have calcium deposits removed from his right elbow. The surgery was successful and Thurman is rehabilitating his arm, doctors saying he will need six months to recover.

“It was getting in the way of the hinging of the elbow and when I threw a punch it was causing pain and inflammation,” Thurman said. “I noticed it before the Danny Garcia fight. There was no way to get rid of it without the surgery. I’m healing and getting the function back so I can be pain free.”

Any chance of facing Filipino icon Manny Pacquaio or Britain’s Kell Brook, the rival welterweight champions, is on hold until likely December.

“Cars break down. We get them fixed and put them back on the road. We’re looking forward to getting back into the ring and giving you another fight before the year is out,” Thurman said.

“The doctor doesn’t want me to rush back into action. It might start to feel good after a month or two, but you don’t want to rush it… I figure a four-month recovery will be quick. The doctor recommended six months of no action, before training. I won’t rush it.”

But Thurman will be watching Brook’s fight against American Errol Spence on May 27 in England.

“I’ll be tuning in and looking forward to the belt coming back to America and looking forward to seeing what Kell Brook has to offer at 147 pounds,” Thurman said. “I want to see if he wants to make his stand at 147.”

Source: AFP