I recently had a chance to speak to one of the rising stars of the sport, as ‘interim’ WBA welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman joined me for an interview to discuss his upcoming March 7th fight against Robert Guerrero. Thurman (24-0 21 KOs) has defended his belt 3 times, but faces his toughest test to date by meeting the former 3 division champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1 18KO’s).
Thurman, 26, will be making his NBC TV debut in a boxing series called “Premier boxing champions”. Thurman spoke in detail about his upcoming national television appearance and on his fight with Robert Guerrero. Keith talked about his last bout against Leonard Bundu and why he believes he was unable to score a knockout. Additionally Thurman shared his views on the co-main event March 7th, Adrien Broner vs.John Molina Here is what Keith Thurman had to say.
Robert Brown: Your next fight will air live on NBC, what are your thoughts on this opportunity?
Keith Thurman: It’s just a dream come true. When I really start thinking about it and reflecting on what’s about to happen, I just think about how Ben Getty would be so happy with my career and how he wouldn’t be able to ask for anything more for an opportunity to show the world my skills and my talent.
Knockouts on NBC, it’s gonna be spectacular man, I’m truly looking forward to March 7th and I’m looking forward to the rest of my career in the world of boxing. Boxing is coming back in 2015. I’m really looking forward to the up incoming bout.
I’m looking forward to the entire schedule on the NBC network — this is gonna be a great year for boxing. 2016 I think boxing is gonna be back, you’ll hear boxing talk all over, from bar to bar, from pub to pub, from house to house. I expect more kids to try and find a local gym wanting to be boxers again. It really should be amazing for the sport.
Robert Brown: You’re coming up against Robert Guerrero, a world champion in two different divisions, good enough to get in the ring with Floyd Mayweather. How do you feel about the fight coming up?
Keith Thurman: I feel good, I’ve been wanting to fight ‘The Ghost’ for a long time. I remember when I fought Carlos Quintana on the under card of when he fought Andre Berto and how good of a fight that was. He’s a good fighter, he comes to fight, he throws a lot of punches, he roughs you up, he’s in shape. It’s gonna be a tremendous fight come March 7th.
Robert Brown: What do you think your strengths are going to be against Robert Guerrero?
Keith Thurman: At the end of the day I believe I’m gonna be more accurate, obviously more powerful. First thing’s first, we gotta see if he can take the punch. I know he’s got a great chin, he’s taken a lot of peoples punches but even though I didn’t move them out my last fight, I still created the knockdown.
There’s only been one fighter that ever went the distance and did not get put on the blue canvas, and that was Jan Zaveck. At the end of the day, I’ve either stopped or dropped everybody but one person that’s stepped in the ring with me, and I don’t see why we’re not gonna go and drop Robert Guerrero this up and coming event. I’m looking forward to it.
Robert Brown: How do you feel about your last performance against Leonard Bundu?
Keith Thurman: After the first round knockdown, I said, “Keith, we don’t need a first round knockout. If he’s gonna run into one, he’ll probably run into another one, lets put on a show, lets put in a few more rounds.” I did that and by the fifth round, I realized how Bundu was real timid. He didn’t want to jump in like he did in the first round, he didn’t want to commit, he was being very hesitant.
Bundu was being very conservative and so I was being conservative. I was simply just responding to the person in front of me. At the end of the day, could I have thrown more punches? Yeah. Could I have taken more chances? Yeah, but he wasn’t posing a threat; he didn’t make me do anything. He allowed me to box at my tempo, throw some punches in combinations that I was doing and I was out punching him and outscoring him every round.
My corner was happy with what I was doing every round, they kept saying, “keep doing it, that’s all you need, he can’t touch you.” We just stuck with that, it was a nice little twelve rounds, it was a nice experience. I went twelve rounds with somebody that wasn’t gonna beat me in a twelve round fight — that’s how I looked at it.
If I was being out boxed and somebody was actually putting more hands on me, I probably would have digged a little harder and really tried to get him out of there. Regardless of whether I was hurting him or just touching him, I was out boxing him the whole fight. It was nice, no complaints.
Robert Brown: Do you have a goal against Robert Guerrero to perhaps look as impressive as or more impressive than Floyd Mayweather did?
Keith Thurman: I definitely want to beat Guerrero in a more impressive fashion than Floyd Mayweather. But in reality, I’m ready to put on a good fight. I know Guerrero is coming to fight, I want to fight this fight.
I’m gonna box smart like always but I’m looking to hurt this dude. Hopefully you guys see the original ‘One Time’ and why my nickname really is ‘One Time.’ We’re going in this time to represent the name.
Robert Brown: The other fight of that card is John Molina vs. Adrien Broner. What are your thoughts on this fight?
Keith Thurman: It is interesting. Molina is obviously the bigger and the stronger fighter, I think he’s the slower fighter, but he’s a dog. I don’t really see Adrien Broner stopping him, I see it being a tough match. It’s an interesting match up, Molina’s got a big height and reach factor, he’s got the punch, he’s got experience.
It’s interesting, I think this is gonna be Broner’s toughest fight at 140lbs. Broner has done a lot of things in his career, he’s skipped 140lbs originally and moved up to 147lbs to fight Paulie Malignaggi, then Marcos Maidana. It’s an opportunity for him to make a statement in that weight division and possibly get some of the bigger names at 140lbs afterwards, but he has to win come March 7th.