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Keith Thurman: I’ll be victorious over Julio Diaz

Julio Diaz Keith ThurmanBy Dan Ambrose: WBA interim welterweight champion Keith Thurman (22-0, 20 KO’s) expects to beat 34-year-old former IBF lightweight champion Julio Diaz (40-9-1, 29 KO’s) in their fight on April 26th next month at the StubHub Center, in Carson, California, USA. Thurman, 25, is the much younger and stronger fighter of the two, and it’s going to be awfully difficult for Diaz to be competitive in this fight the way that he was recently with Amir Khan and Shawn Porter.

Porter gave both of those fighters a really tough time, and fought well enough to deserve decisions against both of them. But against Thurman, Diaz will be dealing with a legit welterweight with size and power that is going to make things tough on Diaz.

“I respect Julio Diaz and I will not underestimate him,” Thurman said. “He knows that this may be his last shot, and I expect the best from him, but I’ll be the one leaving with the victory.”

It would be a major upset if Thurman were to lose to Diaz. He would have to run into something big from him the way that Khan kept running into left hooks from Diaz one after another and getting stunned. Diaz dropped Khan and him ready to go at one point. Thurman was hurt in his last fight against Jesus Soto Karass when he stopped and tried to slug with him.

Thurman wisely got on his bike and chose to box Soto Karass until stopping him in the 9th round last December in a mostly one-sided fight. Diaz has the power and the skills to give Thurman problems if he’s able to land his shots, but it’s going to be difficult for him due to Thurman’s power and defensive style of fighting.

Thurman needs to win this fight in order to put himself in position to get a shot at the WBA welterweight title. Marcos Maidana recently won the WBA welterweight title with a 12 round decision win over Adrien Broner last December. But instead of facing Thurman, Maidana is fighting a unification bout against WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

For Thurman, that’s perhaps the worst thing that could happen because Mayweather won’t defend the WBA title against him. He’ll sit on the title for over a year until he retires in late 2015 without facing Thurman. The best thing that Thurman can hope for is that Mayweather vacates the belt after receiving pressure from the World Boxing Association. But that’s not going to happen. The WBA will be more than happy to have Mayweather as their WBA champion due to the huge sanctioning fees they can get from having him as their champion.


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