(transcribed by Michael Readman) In recent years the welterweight division has been one of the hottest weight classes in the sport, due to the amount of talent residing in it. Floyd Mayweather Jr. currently reigns the division, but there are always new challenger arising and looking to take the welterweight crown. Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is one of the fastest rising contenders at 147lbs, holding an undefeated record of 23-0 with 21 KO’s. Thurman’s fan friendly style has gained him more popularity in the past two years.
In part 2 of my interview with Keith Thurman, he speaks about what he believes is the blueprint to defeat Floyd Mayweather. Keith also discusses the current Top Rank-Golden Boy stand off and which fighter from the Top Rank stable he would most like to fight. Aside from that, ‘One Time’ talks about a potential Mayweather-Pacquiao match, and if he feels now is the best time for the fight to take place. Here is what Keith Thurman had to say.
Jenna J: Do you think there is a blueprint to beat Floyd Mayweather or is he just a tough style no matter what game plan you try?
Keith Thurman Jr: There’s only one real blueprint in boxing. People can say what they wanna say but the real blueprint is to hit and not get hit and it doesn’t matter how you do it. If you outwork the guy, you throw six every time he throws two, smother his punches.
Maidana outworked Mayweather but it was sloppy, it wasn’t clean all the time and then once when Mayweather was popping off his shots, they were the cleaner, crisper shots — all those rounds went to Mayweather. You’ve gotta be able to hit him and not let him counter you the way people are used to seeing him counter.
Jenna J: After that fight a lot of Pacquiao supporters all of the sudden say that if Marcos Maidana can do that to Floyd, maybe Manny Pacquiao can too. Do you see any justification in that thought?
Keith Thurman Jr: Yeah, I mean Oscar De La Hoya did it to him, Miguel Cotto did it to him. Floyd is known for being up against the ropes and blocking and then countering, that’s exactly how he fought Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar De La Hoya, I don’t even remember but I feel like he probably threw a thousand punches in that fight. De La Hoya was throwing one-two one-two’s up against Mayweather up against the ropes all day.
To me every fights just another fight for Floyd, every fight’s just another fight and he finds a way to be more accurate. He uses his superior defensive skills to get him through every fight. Him and Pacquiao has been a good fight since the beginning, all the way up to the end.
I know that’s something that the fans would like to see and then we can get it and put it down on the books, put it down on record and let it be a part of history but, who knows, we’ve gotta get through that Bob Arum – Golden Boy phase first.
Jenna J: Do you think Pacquiao would have had a better chance four years ago when the fight was at it’s absolute height, or is now a better time to beat Floyd?
Keith Thurman Jr: I think the time is now for Pacquiao to fight Floyd Mayweather. There would have been more excitement if they would have fought at the peak just for the viewers, but it’s a great fight especially for Floyd because there’s still money to be made in that fight and Floyd’s all about the money so, grab it before it’s gone, because it might not ever happen. It either happens or it doesn’t happen.
Jenna J: You mentioned the Golden Boy-Top Rank thing, recently Oscar De La Hoya has been trying make peace with Bob Arum. If they get past that boundary, how good do you think it would be for the sport?
Keith Thurman Jr: It would be tremendous for the sport, it would be tremendous. It would go back how it used to be where you let the fighters fight. Sometimes you have a champion and sometimes your champion loses, you know. You can only protect your fighters for so long, and we can just make bigger fights anyway.
You can make bigger fights, you can create a bigger fan base and there’s always a come back. So many fighters are scared — they don’t want to lose, they don’t want to have to prove that they’re human and sometimes they get out-boxed and that they need to go back to the drawing board to asses their skills and bring back a better fight. The fans would respect that. We’ll see man, we’ll see, it is the world of boxing.
Jenna J: If there was one fighter at the Top Rank stable that you would like to step into the ring against, who would it be?
Keith Thurman Jr: Timothy Bradley.
Jenna J: Why Tim?
Keith Thurman Jr: I like Tim’s athleticism and he’s never been knocked out, I like fighters that have never been knocked out.
Jenna J: You like fighters that have never been knocked out because you wanna be the one that does it?
Keith Thurman Jr: That’s pretty much it. I’ve fought plenty of fighters that have never been knocked down or maybe been down but never been out. That’s a challenge to me, to a degree it shows you that they are a tough, sturdy opponent. Timothy’s a good boxer, he’s got a lot of respect in the world of boxing. Manny’s the only fighter that’s beaten him, so there’s a lot of pros to fighting Timothy Bradley.
At one time I was ranked number one by the WBO and I was technically his mandatory but I didn’t hold on to that position and he fought plenty of other fights under Top Rank and HBO and all that. If we can get through the feud and everything, it would be nice to get my fight with Timothy Bradley.
Jenna J: Keith, when can we expect to see you back in the ring? How soon do you wanna get back in there?
Keith Thurman Jr: I’ll get back in probably July or August, that’s most likely when we’re gonna be looking forward to our soonest dates. You never know though, I’m waiting on a call right now so I’m ready, I really am. I just need another phone call and another contract and we can go ahead and do it again.
Jenna J: How badly do you wanna have that big name fighter in your record? How likely do you think it will be that you will get that big name fighter next time out?
Keith Thurman Jr: Hopefully that’s what’s going down right now, but you just don’t know, because it’s boxing. We don’t really even know how the politics works, we just know that there’s politics, there’s politics. We’ll see.
Is the world ready for Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman? Are they ready to compete when it comes to the top ten of that welterweight division or are they gonna keep me on pause and keep me fighting from the number ten’s to the number fifteen guys, keeping throwing whatever at me.
We’ll see. I really want a top five fighter. Ring magazine brought me up to number six in the world so I want five and above. I wanna keep climbing the ladder, that’s what I want for myself and my career.
Jenna J: You have a lot of fans out there, a lot of ‘One Time’ fans. Any message you want to pass along to them?
Keith Thurman Jr: Just thank you all for your love and support, stay tuned. I’m trying to tweet, it’s hard, it’s really hard trying to do something with that page but you can get at me @KeithFThurmanJr — the other one’s a fake, some people are starting to figure that out. Besides that, just stay tuned, I’m gonna bring you all some action packed fights. Don’t ever doubt me, I’m coming to destroy the welterweight division.