WBA champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is only a few days away from stepping into the ring for the biggest fight of his career, as he is set to face off with WBC welterweight champion, Danny Garica. The bout will be shown on CBS network television and it hopes to surpass the success of last year’s ratings for Thurman vs. Porter. The fight this weekend is a unification fight between two undefeated American champions and a match that will decide who is the best welterweight in the division now that Mayweather has retired.
In part 1 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with Keith Thurman, I get his views on the upcoming fight with Danny Garcia and get his thoughts on Garcia’s skill set. Thurman also talks about his inactivity in the ring and his plans going forward in the future. Additionally, Keith gives his official prediction for the bout with Garcia and talks about whether it matters if he scores a knockout or just gets the win. Here is what Keith Thurman had to say.
Jenna J: You have a fight coming up with Danny Garcia on March 4th. How have preparations been going?
Keith Thurman: All is well. The team and I are really looking forward to this fight that I asked for. This is a fight that the fight fans want to see. This is the fight that the world of boxing needs, two young undefeated champions going toe-to-toe, laying everything on the line, in their primes. It really doesn’t get better than this. I’m also happy to be coming back to New York and putting on another great performance in the Barclay’s Arena, I love the energy and the history of boxing in New York, so we are just really looking forward to this fight.
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Jenna J: What are your thoughts on Danny Garcia as a fighter?
Keith Thurman: He’s a champion, he dominated 140 at one point and he slowly moved up to 147lbs. He’s had a lot of fights that were challenging but he pulled them out. He’s known for being the underdog who rises to the occasion and he’s hoping to make that same statement against me on Saturday night.
Danny’s got a solid amateur career, just like myself. He’s a power puncher like myself, even though I have less fights and more knockouts. I do believe that I hold the bigger punch in the match. I do believe that I’m the bigger guy, considering that he has to move up. At the end of the day, Danny is a very solid fighter, he fights his fight every time, he’s calm and poised, and he’s willing to trade and exchange big power punches.
I think he can be a little flat footed at times and the downside of being flat footed is that you don’t move too fast, but the upside is that you’re on balance and you’re ready to throw those big punches, and that’s what he does the best. It’s a really good match-up, there’s going to be a lot of big punches thrown throughout the fight and if it goes my way, it’s not going twelve rounds. It’s going to be a good fight.
Jenna J: In recent years you have had a little bit of inactivity. Is it important for you to be more active in 2017?
Keith Thurman: It’s not important for me to do anything but win the fight at hand, that’s all that matters. It’s not important to be more active if I don’t want to be more active. I could have been active last year but I wouldn’t have gotten the fights that I wanted. I didn’t want to take a fight and then risk injury and then not be able to produce what we’re producing for you guys now.
It wasn’t optimal to perform once last year, but what you guys forget to remember is that I suffered a car accident, and that’s what made the Shawn Porter fight get postponed. From there, I was just waiting for the Danny Garcia fight. Sometimes in the world of boxing you have to wait to get what you want and ask for.
Like I said, I don’t want to take another fight and be subject to some other form of injury and not produce this kind of fight. This is what I wanted, this is what we’re getting, and I’m happy. There will be a time when hopefully I’ll be more active again, but for now this is how it has played out and I’m not worried about it.
Jenna J: Your fight with Shawn Porter was the most watched boxing telecast in the United States. How excited are you to try to top that?
Keith Thurman: Honestly, I’m super excited. It was tremendous to fill the arena the way that we did. The energy was so electric on that night. I believe we should have an even more packed house for this Garcia fight. The viewership was something around 4.2 million, and that’s definitely the highlight of my career. Once again, I think we’re going to break that with Garcia.
This fight is a bigger fight, it means more. You have two undefeated champions going toe-to-toe and it doesn’t get better than this in the world of boxing. This is what fight fans demand, and you didn’t have to demand it, I demanded it for you. It’s great for the sport and it’s great for me and my career right now. It’s great for Danny Garcia and his career right now. This is what boxing is all about, the best fighting the best. I’m looking forward to putting on a tremendous performance for the viewers in America and all over the world.
Jenna J: What is your official prediction for your fight with Danny Garcia?
Keith Thurman: My prediction is another great fight. I believe that there’s too much power in the building that there should be a stoppage, hopefully by the seventh or eighth round.
Jenna J: Would you be disappointed at all if you just get the win without the stoppage?
Keith Thurman: No, we come to fight for victory. We want to stop everybody, my motto is ‘KO’s for life’. I’m always looking for the big punch, I’m always looking to see if I can get my opponent out of there, but we come for victory. I’m a world class champion and a twelve round fighter, and we’re prepared to take that win home no matter which way it comes.