Keith Thurman wants Canelo Alvarez if he gets past Zaveck on Saturday
By Dan Ambrose: Among the top fighters that unbeaten Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KO’s) wants to fight in the near future is WBC junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (41-0-1, 30 KO’s) if Thurman can get past former IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck (32-2, 18 KO’s) on Saturday night in their WBO welterweight eliminator bout on HBO at the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Besides Canelo, Thurman also wants to fight WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley, and the winner of the fight between IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander and Kell Brook. Bradley is the more realistic option for Thurman because he’ll be Bradley’s mandatory challenger if he beats Zaveck tomorrow night. However, getting Bradley to agree to fight him may takes ages, and Thurman can’t just sit idle waiting for Bradley to finally face him.
Thurman said this to Maxboxing.com when asked if he’d like to face Canelo: “Definitely…if a big enough fight opens up at 154, don’t be surprised if I take it.”
In other words, the 24-year-old Thurman doesn’t see himself being offered a big fight against Canelo, but if he’s given an offer from the orange-haired fighter he’ll take it in a second. The question is would Canelo and Golden Boy choose to match Canelo against a mean slugger like Thurman or would they choose to dodge this fight? I think I know the answer to that.
Right now, Canelo doesn’t have much to worry about because Thurman is focusing his attention in the welterweight division, and he’s not ranked in the top 15 at junior middleweight. But that doesn’t mean that they still can’t match Thurman up with Canelo because it’s not as if Canelo hasn’t already been facing welterweights, so there wouldn’t be any real change in that respect.
In the past two years, Canelo has faced the following welterweights: Kermit Cintron, Matthew Hatton, Alfonso Gomez, and Shane Mosley. Canelo has only faced one junior middleweight during that time in Ryan Rhodes. So a fight between Canelo and Thurman shouldn’t be a problem to put together because Canelo has already been fighting welterweights.
I’d give Thurman a great chance of beating Canelo if this fight is made. Thurman can really punch, and if he’s got an opponent that’s foolish enough to stand in front of him for 12 rounds, then I can see him scoring a quick knockout.
It’s premature to talk Canelo-Thurman because Canelo has a unification bout ahead of him next month against WBA 154 lb. champion Austin Trout, and many boxing fans see Canelo loosing that fight as do I. Thurman has a big test in front of him tomorrow night against Zaveck, and that’s the biggest test of Thurman’s six-year pro career by far.
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