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Keith Thurman in action on March 9th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York

Keith ThurmanBy Dan Ambrose: #2 WBO, #3 WBA, #9 IBF, junior middleweight contender Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KO’s) is waiting to find out who his opponent will be for his scheduled 10 round bout on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The 24-year-old Thurman’s 4th round destruction of former WBO welterweight champion Carlos Quintana last November really pushed Thurman up the junior middleweight rankings to where he’s now nearing title shots against 154 pound champions Austin Trout, Zaurbek Baysangurov and Cornelius Bundrage. Thurman is one of the biggest punchers and most exciting fighters in the junior middleweight division right now. I think he’s good enough to beat Saul Alvarez and most of the other champions at this weight.

Unfortunately for Thurman, he’s not ranked in the top 15 by the World Boxing Council, which means a fight between him and WBC 154 pound champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is highly unlikely in the foreseeable future. It’s a fight that should be able to take place, as they both share the same promoter at Golden Boy Promotions, but it’s not likely to happen because Golden Boy has been matching Alvarez against smaller fighters than Thurman some reason and they might not want to put Alvarez in with a full sized junior middleweight just yet.

There’s talk that Thurman will be facing a junior middleweight top 10 contender for this fight. That’s going to be interesting if they put do put him in with someone good because Quintana is the only recognizable name on Thurman’s resume right now. He’s good enough to face the other top contenders in the division if Golden Boy can put together a fight with one of them.

Here are some good options for Thurman’s next fight:

Sergey Rabchenko
Ruben Varon
Delvin Rodriguez
Alfredo Angulo
Damian Jonak
Jonathan Gonzalez
Roberto Garcia
Lucas Konecny
Demetrius Andrade
Javier Maciel
Charles Whittaker
Carlos Molina

I’d be really surprised if Golden Boy can get any of those fighters. I think they get one of them if they make a big enough offer, but I’m not so sure they’re ready to put Thurman in with any of these guys just yet. I don’t see they wouldn’t because if they were willing to match Thurman against Quintana then they should be open to putting him in with the likes of Angulo, Rodriguez and Rabchenko. Thurman vs. Angulo would be a really great fight and I’d like to see that one.

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