Keith Thurman vs. Julio Diaz on April 26th on Showtime
By Scott Gilfoid: Interim WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (22-0, 20 KO’s) will be defending his interim WBA 147lb strap against 34-year-old former IBF lightweight champion Julio Diaz (40-9-1, 29 KO’s) on Showtime on April 26th, according to Dan Rafael. Thurman is quickly becoming the Paul Williams of the welterweight division with no one wanting to fight him, and Golden Boy Promotions sticking him in with guys that are beneath his amazing talents.
I don’t understand why Thurman wasn’t matched against Amir Khan on May 3rd instead of Diaz. I take that back. I do understand why Thurman wasn’t given the Khan fight. Obviously, they want to keep Khan winning long enough to get the big money fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Thurman would spoil their plans. Thurman is clearly the third best fighter in the welterweight division behind Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, so they’re not going to feed a more popular fighter like Khan to him so that he can destroy Khan before he’s faced Mayweather for the cash out fight.
— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) March 25, 2014
It’s unclear why Golden Boy felt it necessary to match Thurman against Diaz, but it’s like they wanted to match him against someone that is recognizable to the older boxing fans who remember Diaz from way in the past when he previously held the IBF lightweight title on two separate occasions.
Matching Thurman against Diaz will at least draw some fans interested in seeing Diaz, but I don’t see this as a fight that will register on Showtime in terms of high ratings. If they believe trotting out Diaz will increase ratings then I think they’re going to be sadly disappointed. Diaz has lost his last two fights to Amir Khan and Shawn Porter.
In fairness to Diaz, I have him beating Khan last year in April in their London based fight. In fact, I had Diaz winning by a 4-round margin over a badly hurt Khan, but with the fight taking place in the UK where Khan lives, Diaz probably would have needed a knockout in order to beat Khan on that night.
Diaz was legitimately beaten in his last fight by Shawn Porter in losing a 10 round unanimous decision in September of last year. The two fighters have previously fought in December of 2012 with the fight ending in a 10 round draw.
Thurman has looked great recently in whipping Jesus Soto Karass, Diego Chaves, Jan Zaveck, and Carlos Quintana in his last four fights.