Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is the reigning interim WBA welterweight champion, but even though he carries that belt and a perfect boxing record, it has not led him to the big name opponents. Thurman, now 25, has his mind set on possibly unifying the title and ultimately has his sights set on a fighter that so many would like to try their hand at, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
In part 1 of my interview with interim WBA champion, Keith Thurman, I get his views on the recent IBF title fight between Kell Brook and Shawn Porter. Thurman breaks down the match and talks about a potential match between him and Brook in the near future. Keith also talks about the road to getting a fight with pound-for-pound star, Floytd Mayweather Jr. Lastly, ‘One Time’ discusses the upcoming Mayweather-Maidana rematch. Here is what Keith Thurman had to say.
Jenna J: You were recently ringside at the Shawn Porter vs. Kell Brook fight. What were your thoughts?
Keith Thurman: For the most part, Shawn did what I expected him to do — which was to make the fight very intense and to put the pressure on Kell Brook throughout the whole fight, all night. I didn’t know much about Kell Brook prior to the fight, that was the main reason why I was leaning towards Shawn, with his aggressive style. I wasn’t sure how well Kell Brook was gonna be able to handle that pressure, especially at this level.
Kell trained hard, he’s been working on being a champion for a very long time. He was focused and he was working off the jab, he was doing basic boxing, kept his hands up for most of the fight. Like I said, Shawn did what I expected him to do, he threw a lot of body shots, I guess he was having a hard time setting up the head.
Jenna J: What did you think of Shawn Porter’s approach to the fight?
Keith Thurman: I feel like Shawn’s punches were very similar to Maidana’s — they were coming from all different angles and they were constantly coming, but a lot of them were smothered and for the most part, the judges saw that they were ineffective punches, which is why Kell Brook got the victory. One judge did have the fight a draw, so he was giving Shawn credit for the pressure and the output that he put in that fight.
Kell Brook showed me he can read movement, he has great straight punches. I think Kell Brook could have gone to the body a little more in that fight, himself. I also think he could have thrown a few more hooks, but he did what he needed to do to win the fight. It was a pretty decent fight of world class boxing the other night.
Jenna J: Now that you’ve had a look at Kell Brook, is he a type of fighter you would like to see yourself in the ring with sometime?
Keith Thurman: Definitely. I like his poise, I like his attitude and dedication to the sport, his will and drive to be a champion. I believe he called me out, we can make that fight happen, easy, as long as he’s a man of his word and his team doesn’t advise him to something else.
It would be a nice fight, I already know a strategy that would be effective. Me and Porter are both strong fighters but our styles are completely different, and styles make fights. I believe I would even be able to even go over there to the UK and bring the belt back to the USA, if that fight was to happen.
Jenna J: You would have no issues going over to his country and trying to take the belt?
Keith Thurman: I don’t see an issue. I believe I would be able to out-punch him — very similar to what Porter was able to do — outwork him, but I would do it in a more effective manner. It would be the most difficult fight of his career, and there’s always the potential knockout victory.
Jenna J: If you were able to lift that title, that would put you in great position in the welterweight division. Do you think you need a big unification fight to be able to get a big fight with Floyd Mayweather?
Keith Thurman: A lot of people would say yes, others would argue no. Technically I’m mandatory, I have the number one position. I’ve worked really hard in my career to get a shot at that title and in every hand that it’s been in, the WBA has yet to enforce the mandatory to give me my shot. It would be nice if the WBA were to do that, but outside of the politics of the WBA and just the politics of a Floyd Mayweather fight.
Definitely, Kell Brook would be a terrific fight because prior to Kell Brook fighting Shawn Porter, we had four undefeated welterweights in the top 10 of the division, and now we have three: Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Floyd Mayweather.
For me and Kell to go at it, we would be eliminating one more undefeated fighter, and whoever is young and left undefeated, I believe should definitely get the Mayweather fight. There would be no controversy when it occurs.
Jenna J: You said you wanted to make your return somewhere around November. Do you think you will be able to secure a big name opponent for that date?
Keith Thurman: That’s the question, that’s a real good question, I’ve been wondering that myself. We’ll have to see, I’m gonna hope, I’m gonna pray on it. It bothers me to go through eight to ten weeks of training camp, putting in two-a-days and to not get a respectable opponent. We’ll see what Al Haymon has in store for me in the near future.
Jenna J: Lets talk about the upcoming rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana that will take place on September 13th. What are your thoughts on this fight?
Keith Thurman: I definitely didn’t want it to happen again, I didn’t want to see that again, that’s boring. As a matter of fact, watching Floyd is 80-90% boring. The only pleasure I get is when he lets his hands go, when he shows the world the skills he has and the reason why he is Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, the reason why he does have a six fight contract with Showtime promotions.
I was actually very disappointed with that last performance, which doesn’t really make me that eager to see this performance, but I’m hoping that Floyd shows us the other side. I hope he brings out the old boxer, uses his legs, and really separates the gap between him and Maidana, because there is a big gap, but he did not show that in his last performance. That’s what I’m looking forward to seeing