I had a chance to catch up with interim WBA welterweight champ, Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman to talk about the current boxing scene. In this interview, I get Thurman’s thoughts on the mega fight that the boxing world is awaiting, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. Keith talks about the significance that this fight has for the sport and whether the fight has lost some of its luster due to the long delay for the fight. ‘One Time’ also gives his views on how the fight plays out and who he feels would emerge victorious. Here is what Keith Thurman had to say.
Robert Brown: What do you think will be the tipping point for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, if it does happen?
Keith Thurman: Mayweather’s running out of options. Not only is he really running out of options, he almost can take his pick but at the end of the day, Mayweather is ‘Money May.’ For a certain duration, for the past several years of his career, his focus has really been on money, “How can I make the most money?”
When I say he’s out of options, he’s really out of big money options, and Manny Pacquiao is that. Amir Khan won’t bring in the revenue, I wouldn’t bring in the revenue, Kell Brook wouldn’t bring in the revenue, which Manny Pacquiao can bring in. At the end of the day, what can you say? It’s a long awaited fight, I know the fans are gonna love it, I’ll be there. It’s great for the sport, to finally see two of the worlds most entertaining welterweights go toe-to-toe.
Robert Brown: Do you think the fight not happening five years will take some of the buzz and excitement away?
Keith Thurman: For the most part, it would be great for the fight to go down with the initial buzz. At the end of the day, nobody has the credentials that Floyd Mayweather has. Outside of Floyd Mayweather, nobody has the credentials that Manny Pacquiao has. You’re still looking at two of the best fighters in this generation going at it. How can you be displeased with it because it’s happening now instead of before?
There was a long time where people thought that it’s a fight that we’ll never see, and you know what they say, “Never say never.” At the end of the day, a lot of people are gonna be happy, a lot of people are gonna be excited.
Think about the Filipino fan base, the African American fan base, and the Latino fan base. Even though Manny Pacquiao is not of Latin descent, he’s still a warrior and I know from speaking to a lot of Latinos, I got a lot fans from Argentina ever since I stopped Diego Chaves. At the end of the day, real boxing fans like to see warriors and that’s what Manny Pacquiao is. The fight is gonna be tremendous.
Robert Brown: Are you still picking Mayweather to win the fight?
Keith Thurman: I still pick Mayweather, especially if the fight is happening at the MGM. Outside of that, Pacquiao needs to be the Pacquiao that made him famous. He needs to throw the punches, the combinations.
We know that Pacquiao is better than Cotto and Cotto gave Mayweather one hell of a fight. Maidana was able to land several good punches on Mayweather. I do see Pacquiao having a great chance of winning the fight, but I do believe that to truly win the fight he’s gonna have to at least create one to two knockdown — A minimum of one knockdown to get that 10-8 round.
Manny is gonna have to worried about the right hand, but he shouldn’t be too worried because it’s not Marquez’ right hand. Mayweather has suffered a lot of hand injuries throughout his career and we haven’t seen him get a knockout since his freebie with Victor Ortiz.
I almost see the fight fifty-fifty, but I still see the fight more leaning in Mayweather’s favor. He’s real technical, he knows what the judges are looking for, he’s really accurate with that right hand, he knows how to snap your head back when he lands it and it’s clear power punches that win fights.
It’s one thing that a lot of people don’t know, it’s the clean, power punches and Mayweather always finds a way to lands those punches, just cleanly, clearly and highly accurate. I’m gonna favor Mayweather until someone shows me a reason not to — and maybe it will be Manny Pacquiao on May 2nd. I’ll be cheering for both fighters, at the end of the day, I just want to see a great fight going down in the world of boxing.
Robert Brown: Assuming you get past Robert Guerrero, would you be interested in fighting someone like Amir Khan?
Keith Thurman: Of course. Ever since he stepped up to 147lbs I’ve been willing to fight him. I said I was willing to fight him the night I fought Bundu. That ain’t nothing new man. I’m ready, let’s go. I said it a thousand times, I got an 0 and I’m not afraid to let it go. Beat me, beat me, BEAT ME!!! Let’s go, I’m not worried about nothing.