Keith Thurman vs. Diego Chaves for interim WBA 147 lb. title on July 27th in San Antonio, Texas
By Dan Ambrose: #4 WBA, Keith Thurman (20-0, 18 KO’s) will be fighting #1 WBA, Diego Chaves (22-0, 18 KO’s) in a battle of unbeaten between fighters with near identical records on July 27th for the interim WBA welterweight title at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The winner of the Thurman-Chaves fight will lock themselves down as the mandatory challenger for WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi. We could see the World Boxing Association give the Thurman-Chaves winner the title at some point in the future if the winner of the Malignaggi vs. Adrien Broner fight next month on June 22nd fails to fight Thurman.
Malingaggi would likely fight Thurman, even though his chances of success would be very low, but Adrien Broner will likely vacate the title rather than facing Thurman in the future if Broner beats Malignaggi next month.
The 24-year-old Thurman has been looking impressive recently, beating former IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck by a lopsided 12 round unanimous decision last March, beating former WBO welterweight champion Carlos Quintana by a 4th round TKO last November and stopping Orlando Lora by a 6th round TKO last July.
Thurman, 5’9”, is the welterweight division’s version of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in that he has good power, but he’s huge for the weight class. Thurman looks like a middleweight when he steps inside the ring in his fights at welterweight, and that’s one of the reasons why a lot of the top fighters at 147 are less than thrilled to fight him. It’s not that Thurman has a ton of experience that worries his opponents. It’s his huge weight, and that kind of scares off the top guys.
Chaves, 27, has good power of his own, but he’s not the puncher that Thurman is and he doesn’t have the size he has. Chaves looks more like a legitimate welterweight compared to Thurman. Chaves’ resume is totally inflated.
There’s not one opponent on his resume that I would call a good fighter, and that makes you wonder if Chaves is as good as his resume would have you believe. In watching some of his recent fights what jumps out at you immediately is how slow and hittable Chaves is. He’s very slow and he plods forward looking to throw big shots. It’s difficult to imagine Chaves being able to land those slow punches on Thurman because he’ll be giving him so many opportunities to get his shots in first and move away when Chaves does try and throw.