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Zaveck: Thurman is going to have a great future

thurman3By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten welterweight contender Keith Thurman (20-0, 18 KO’s) made a fan out of former IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck (32-3, 18 KO’s) after being him badly in a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night on the Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavoris Cloud undercard on HBO. Thurman hurt Zaveck a number of times in the fight and completely shut him out by the scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108.

Zaveck told ESPN “He was much better than me…I give him my congratulations…He’s going to have a great future.”

Thurman looked great in his third fight on HBO. None of the fights have been close, and he took some criticism after the fight from WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi about his soft opposition.

However, Thurman is looking to rectify that moving forward. He’d like to face Malignaggi, but that’s not going to happen because Malignaggi isn’t going to take that fight because it would be like signing up for a loss.

Thurman is way too strong for him and it wouldn’t be pretty. Malignaggi wouldn’t have been able to take the big shots that Zaveck took last Saturday night without hitting the canvas and getting stopped.

Thurman may not have gotten a knockout, but he did earn the mandatory spot to face WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley. That’s obviously more important to Thurman because he feels like he can beat Bradley if given the chance.

He’ll get chance now, but he may have to wait while before the WBO forces the issue because it’s likely Bradley won’t jump at the chance of fighting Thurman immediately. In theory, Bradley is supposed to be fighting Thurman after his optional defense against light welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov next Saturday, but it’ll be surprising if Bradley agrees to face Thurman in his next bout after that.

Thurman may have to fight one or two more times before he eventually gets a shot at the WBO title. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bradley vacates rather than face Thurman and potentially experience an embarrassing loss.

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