Keith Thurman sees no threat in Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The landscape of boxing will change after May 2 when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. square off after years of teasing fight fans with the biggest showdown of this generation. The aftermath will leave the sport looking for its next big superstar as both Mayweather and Pacquiao will likely hang their gloves up.
Entering his name into the discussion is none other than 26-year-old Keith “One Time” Thurman. The heavy-hitting product of Clearwater, Florida, has seen a steady rise in popularity over the past year and will get his opportunity to further push himself into boxing stardom when he faces Robert Guerrero on NBC in the first edition of “Premier Boxing Champions.”
Thurman, who once claimed to be one of the most avoided fighters in the sport, has been impressive as he sports a 24-0 record. More important than the victories is the way he has dispatched of his opponents; he’s accumulated 21 knockouts during his professional career. But there are some that don’t believe the hype, namely Jeff Mayweather, uncle of boxing’s current pound-for-pound king.
In an interview with Hustle Boss, Mayweather offered his opinion on “One Time.”
“I think he’s average,” Mayweather said. “He’s a guy that can punch a little bit but he hasn’t fought anybody. Go and beat Guerrero and then you can say you beat somebody. ÔÇª Keith Thurman is going to get nobody’s stamp of approval until he beats a Guerrero or somebody with a name. He hasn’t done anything.”
Fair or unfair, the assessment of Thurman drew a response from the fighter and he didn’t mince any words about Jeff or Floyd Mayweather.
“I don’t think Floyd fights anybody but average fighters so let’s talk about that,” Thurman responded when asked by RingTV about Jeff Mayweather’s comments. Thurman cited an older Shane Mosley as well as Guerrero and Victor Ortiz, who both beat Andre Berto to earn their shot.
“Call me average if you want to,” Thurman continued. “My punching power and knockout ratio are not average. My ring intelligence isn’t average. We’ll prove it on March 7th. We have an opportunity to out-perform Mayweather and we’re going to do so.”
Thurman has made it very clear that he would love at shot at Mayweather. And if Manny Pacquiao wants a piece, he can get some too. But he doesn’t believe that either will accept the challenge.
“I don’t know if either of them would fight me,” Thurman explained. “I would simply ask them and they’d probably beat around the bush. I would love to set myself up for one of them at the end of this year.”
Thurman has been eyeballing Mayweather for a long time and says that after he dispatches Guerrero, he’ll set his sights on Marcos Maidana. And once he get through Maidana, he’ll have two common opponents with “Money” Mayweather and believes he’ll be in prime position to land the biggest fight of his career. As for how the fight would go, the confident Thurman doesn’t believe that Mayweather has anything to offer that would derail “One Time” and his plans to add another victim to his knockout record.
“I don’t see somebody like Mayweather – who hasn’t had a knockout for several years – as a threat,” Thurman said flatly. “What’s he going to do? Poke me and beat me on points? Come on! I am dangerous!”
As for Pacquiao, Thurman believes that the Filipino just might be a bigger threat than Mayweather and would make for a better fight.
“At least Manny Pacquiao has power to bring to the table. He can hurt you.”
Ultimately, Thurman is all about taking on the biggest challenges possible. He maintains that he’s not overlooking Guerrero to any degree. But he’s all about taking the toughest challenge, whether that is Mayweather, Pacquiao or somebody else.
“I want to get beat!” Thurman exclaims. “I want to meet the man who can beat Keith “One Time” Thurman. ÔÇª Like I always say, I have an ‘0’ and I ain’t afraid to let it go. I’m ready to fight whoever, whenever and for whatever.”