Keith Thurman on Floyd Mayweather Jr.: ‘I’m here to take over’


LAS VEGAS — Welterweight Keith "One Time" Thurman said that he is "here to take over," adding that he would like his next fight to be against RING and WBC 147-pound champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., should the 37-year-old get beyond Saturday's defense against WBA counterpart Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand on Showtime Pay-Per-View.

"Oh, definitely," said the 25-year-old Thurman in response to whether he would like to face Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) in his next match. "Especially since he'll be holding on to the WBA title, which I'm the number one mandatory for."

Thurman spoke to at the MGM, where unbeaten 26-year-old IBF welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter also was in attendance in the wake of a fourth-round knockout of two-division beltholder Paulie Malignaggi on April 19.

The Mayweather-Maidana card will also include Carlos Molina in the 140-pound debut of three-division titlewinner Adrien Broner, who was dropped once each in the second and eighth rounds during his first loss by unanimous decision to Maidana in December. Also on the card is a welterweight clash of former titleholders between Amir Khan and southpaw Luis Collazo.

"I'm here just to look at the competition and to see if they look as good as I look," said Thurman. "I'm here to enjoy the fights as a fight fan, be out here and take some photos and enjoy the company of some of my fans and to sign autographs and things. I'm keeping 'One Time' relevant in the main scene in the sport of boxing because I'm here to take over."

In his last fight on April 26, Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs) scored a third-round stoppage over two-time lightweight titlewinner Julio Diaz when the latter retired on his stool prior to the fourth round, having complained of rib damage.

"I would have liked to have left him lying down or to have stopped him on the mat or to at least have the referee jump in, which is something that would have satisfied the fans a little more," said Thurman.

"But watching the replays, you could see that I was landing devastating body punches and that I was really hurting him in the third round. He claims that he couldn't continue or that it would have been very difficult for him to continue, which meant that the fourth round would have ended up being his final round, most likely."

The 34-year-old Diaz had gone 0-2-1 in his previous three fights entering the bout with Thurman but those bouts were a draw and a unanimous decision loss against Porter and a close decision setback to Khan.

In succession, Diaz drew with Porter in December 2012, floored Khan in the fourth round in April of last year and was outpointed in September by Porter, whose next two bout were a unanimous decision that dethroned Devon Alexander in December and the knockout over Malignaggi, whom Porter dropped twice.

"It was a great fight with Diaz," said Thurman. "I'm happy to have just been able to do what I wanted to do, which is to out-perform the other two top 10 fighters that Diaz had gone up against."

Prior to facing Diaz, Thurman scored knockdowns in the fifth and final rounds of a ninth-round technical stoppage victory over Jesus Soto Karass in December. In his previous bout, last July, Thurman earned a 10th-round knockout of previously unbeaten Argentine Diego Chaves, whom he dropped once each in the ninth and final rounds to end the latter's streak of five consecutive stoppage wins.

Before Chaves, Thurman routed ex-beltholder Jan Zaveck over 12 rounds in March of 2013 to follow up a fourth-round technical knockout of former titleholder Carlos Quintana in November 2012.