Mayweather vs. Maidana Undercard
Keith “One Time” Thurman (23-0-0 22 KOs) has to hold on to his interim WBA belt for another year longer. It seems that Floyd “Money” Mayweather (45-0-0 26 KOs) swooped in and took Marcos Maidana (35-3-0 31 KOs) away from him and Adrien “The Problem” Broner. With the recent plan changes, Broner is tweeting that he wants to fight on his big brother’s undercard. It seems that Thurman versus Broner is the most logical choice for that night.
Considering the fact that Thurman retained his interim belt with a one-sided knockout victory over Jesus Soto Karass the same night Broner lost to Maidana, it was Thurman that should have been the one fighting Broner that night hence the point of an interim belt. A quick side note, this is the same Karass that Maidana was evenly matched against before he received the technical knockout victory when the referee jumped in even though Karass was still firing back.
Let’s consider the facts for a moment, when Broner defeated Malignaggi and went home with the WBA welterweight belt, I do not believe Broner would have done enough to be considered the winner if the split decision was awarded to Malignaggi instead simply off his ability to out-box Broner. The biggest problem Broner had against Maidana was his power combined a little improved boxing technique. Thurman has the skills and experience to out-box Broner and combined with his power, he seems to have the biggest potential to truly expose Broner and potentially knock him out. Even with his loss, Broner did have moments against Maidana who is still more of the brawler type regardless what little boxing tricks he has picked up. There is also the issue, Broner is a lighter fighter who jumped up two weight classes and has only accomplished a debatable win over Malignaggi and a humiliating loss against Maidana. If Broner wants to prove he is a true champion, he cannot cut in line of the rankings again like he did when he fought Malignaggi. Choosing an easy or easier opponent will just make Broner look bad. If he ducks Thurman, then he should duck all the way down back to his weight class.
Thurman versus Broner would be an explosive undercard fight for the Mayweather versus Maidana and will prove who truly belongs there. We still do not have the details whether Maidana’s WBA belt is on the line, but it would be safe to assume it is. Money has already stated that he will let go of the WBC belt because no one can force him to fight Manny Pacquiao. Top Rank will more than likely hold the WBC and WBO welterweight belts. This further limits Thurman’s options. This would be a similar situation Thurman faced when he held the number one ranking with both the WBA and WBO simultaneously, but could not fight Timothy Bradley because of the Golden Boy and Top Rank feud.
There was some hype about a possible Thurman versus Porter bout, but Porter is the IBF welterweight champion and Thurman has no ranking with the IBF. Most recently, Luiz Collazo is being mentioned after his KO victory over Ortiz, but seriously, he fights on ESPN and Thurman should focus on moving up instead of staying where he is at. Do not get me wrong, Collazo is a hell of a fighter, but Thurman should be fighting for a title or at least getting closer to one. Not only that, Collazo more recently expressed that he has no interest in fighting Thurman and that he is not worth it. We will just add him to the list with Marcos Maidana and Robert Guerrero who also declined to fight him.
I will give Malignaggi credit for not fighting Thurman since he was getting paid allot more to fight other opponents, but I cannot think of anyone else who can give Malignaggi a bigger payday other than maybe Porter since he is ranked fourth in the IBF. Another option for Malignaggi is to fight Collazo since Malignaggi likes to be considered the best Brooklyn fighter, but he would most likely decline because of the pay cut (same reason given to Thurman). The only other fight worth watching as an undercard would be a Khan versus Thurman. This will answer the question whether Thurman can handle a fast slick Boxer and provide him the opportunity to have his best win on his record making him more valuable. There is also an opportunity for Khan to fight on the undercard, call out Floyd if he wins, and hold the mandatory belt against WBA welterweight belt which Mayweather will more than likely win.
Then Khan can go fight for the IBF belt and add to his value if he wins. It would be hard for Mayweather to skip Khan since he is complaining so much if he had a championship and held the interim WBA belt. Thurman might also need to consider joining the IBF rankings too.