Keith Thurman needs a knockout against Julio Diaz on Saturday
By Dan Ambrose: Golden Boy Promotions has set up WBA interim welterweight champion Keith Thurman (22-0, 20 KO’s) with a stay busy fight this Saturday night against 34-year-old Julio Diaz (40-9-1. 29 KO’s) in a scheduled 12 round bout at the StubHub Center, in Carson, California, USA. Thurman should be fighting better opposition than this, but Golden Boy and his adviser Al Haymon are keeping the training wheels on a little while longer to see if he can deal with a guy like Diaz before they start letting him fight really good opposition.
Diaz gave Amir Khan problems last April, and before that he gave Shawn Porter all he could handle in two fights. Diaz fought really well against Khan and had him on the canvas at one point in the fight. However, Thurman hasn’t shown any problems with his chin like Khan has, and for that reason this should be a fairly easy fight for him as long as he’s able to get out of the way of Diaz’s left hooks.
Thurman has beaten some good fighters recently in Jesus Soto Karass, Jan Zaveck, Carlos Quintana and Diego Chaves. Diaz is probably a step down from Soto Karass, but not a big step down. Thurman was able to stop Soto Karass in 9 rounds last December.
Thurman needs to raise his game against Diaz on Saturday, and stay in the pocket more to make his fights more exciting. In Thurman’s win over Soto Karass, Thurman was moving way too much and it looked strange given that he was the bigger puncher of the two. Thurman’s problem was that each time he would stand still for any length of time, Soto Karass was getting the better of him during their exchanges. The only time Thurman did well was when he was able to hit Soto Karass while on the move.
If Thurman can get past Diaz, he’s got the possibility of getting fights against the likes of Khan, Porter, and Luis Collazo. There’s certain guys that Golden Boy will let Thurman fight. The only way Thurman gets Khan is if he loses his next fight to Collazo. At that point Khan will be ready for the scrap heap and then Golden Boy can throw him in with Thurman so that he can pick up a win over him as well. More than like though, Thurman will find himself fighting Collazo in his next fight regardless of what happens with Collazo’s fight with Khan.
Collazo won’t get a fight against Mayweather if he beats Khan. Mayweather won’t likely agree to fight a guy like Collazo due to his lack of a fan base. Collazo’s win over Khan will see him rewarded with a Thurman fight, which isn’t a big fight but at least it’s something.