Is Keith Thurman ready to challenge the top fighters at 154?

keith thurman  photoBy Dan Ambrose: #2 WBO, #3 WBA, #9 IBF junior middleweight contender Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KO’s) has recently seen his world ranking soar after beating Carlos Quintana last November by a 4th round knockout in Ontario, California. The win was impressive in that Quintana had never been bludgeoned like that before during his career.

Quintana had been knocked out by Miguel Cotto and Paul Williams in the past, but he’d never been dominated the way that Thurman did it. Quintana looked terrified the entire time that Thurman stalked him around the ring, hitting him with huge shots that clearly bothered Quintana.

Thurman is now ranked high enough to where he could be challenging world champions Austin Trout, Zaurbek Baysangurov and Cornelius Bundrage really soon. Interestingly enough, the WBC doesn’t have Thurman ranked at all in their top 15. How fortunate that is for their champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez because the 5’11” Thurman would be a huge headache for the smaller 5’9” Canelo and I wouldn’t be surprised if he knocked him out. But by the World Boxing Council not ranking Thurman in their top 15, it gives Canelo a kind of lucky break.

Canelo won’t have to worry about being forced to fight Thurman. The only that fight happens is if Canelo’s promoters at Golden Boy choose to put Thurman in with Canelo, and I don’t see that happening at all.

Thurman, 24, fights on March 9th on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Thurman still doesn’t have an opponent picked out for him but it’s likely going to be a top contender because his fights will be part of the televised portion of the broadcast. It would be great to see Thurman in against someone that can get him more attention so that he can put pressure on the 154 pound champions to give him a fight.



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