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Keith Thurman’s rise
Keith Thurman is one of boxing’s rising stars. Although the 26-year-old from Clearwater, FL has been showcased on SHOWTIME and HBO on multiple occasions, his development into a mainstream fighter has been steady. There are a lot of fights that can propel Thurman toward stardom, but bouts with Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Adrien Broner, Marcos Rene Maidana, Kell Brook, and Shawn Porter are fantasy and are far from reality.
He should continue to call out guys like Floyd Mayweather, even though Thurman most likely will never get a shot at ‘Money’ unless he does something significant. A Khan vs. Thurman fight would be a true boxing match for the fans, but Khan is the leading contender to fight Floyd.
It would be amazing to see Thurman against Broner in a bout to determine which fighter is truly a future star. There was a lot of hype surrounding Broner as the heir apparent to ‘Money Mayweather.’ Broner is young, fast, flashy, brash, and arrogant and already is a two division world champion.
Broner was silenced last year December when Marcos Rene Maidana pummeled him for twelve rounds. Maidana’s performance was so impressive, it was named the 2013 Upset of the Year and it led him straight to (two consecutive) fights with Floyd.
All Thurman can do is continue making his routine defense of the ‘interim’ WBA welterweight title. Thurman, on the recent Amir Khan vs. Deveon Alexander card in Las Vegas last Saturday, earned a unanimous 12-round decision against Leonardo Bundu (31-1-2, 11 KOs).
“Bundu was a smart fighter,” Thurman said. “He was tricky and he switched. He came to not get knocked out and he was able to do that, but he was unable to win rounds. It was hard to time him because he was always switching it up, but we boxed smart. It was a great learning experience.
Thurman is a virtual unknown outside of boxing’s mainstream circle, but he is developing a nice professional career for himself. He already has four world title fights on his resume’ and he has defeated a number of good, but recyclable fighters that include: Carlos Quintana, Jan Zavek, Jesus Soto Karass, and Julio Diaz.
Although knockouts are impressive highlights to watch, Thurman should be fighting big names. A fight with unified WBA/WBC junior welterweight champion Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia is a definite must-see, but politics will always play a significant role in keeping fighters away from one another.