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Keith Thurman not overlooking Leonard Bundu

Keith ThurmanBy Jim Dower: Interim WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs) won’t be overlooking his 40-year-old opponent Leonard Bundu (31-0-1, 11 KOs) this Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Thurman knows full well that Bundu, #3 WBC, #4 WBA, has the kind of talent to give anyone problems in the 147 pound division.

Bundu is coming off of a 12 round split decision upset win over previously unbeaten Frankie Gavin in his last fight in August of this year. Bundu came in and beat Gavin in his own country in front of his own fans.

That’s quite an accomplishment, because it’s not easy to beat an opponent when they’re fighting in their own country.

“In his last fight, he fought a young man who was 28 years old and fought him in his hometown and beat him. He is a smart boxer and an intelligent fighter and it’s going to be a great fight,” said Thurman to RingTV.com.

Thurman needs a solid win over Bundu to keep alive in the Floyd Mayweather Jr sweepstakes. A loss to Bundu will very likely permanently remove the 26-year-old Thurman from any chances of ever facing Mayweather.

It’s not that Thurman wouldn’t have time to rebuild his career after a loss to Bundu. The problem is Mayweather is nearing the end of his long career, and he’s not going to want to fight someone who is fresh off a loss to the 40-year-old Bundu.

Thurman is going to need to shift gears in this fight if he wants to win. He’s not facing a plodder like Jesus Soto-Karass or a guy like Julio Diaz. Bundu still has a lot left in the tank despite his advanced age, and he’s going to give Thurman all he can handle in this fight.

Thurman hasn’t fought too many fighters with inside fighting skills like Bundu, so this should be interesting to see how Thurman reacts to his game. In the past, Thurman has showed that he likes to retreat while throwing left hooks when crowded by his opponents.

If Bundu is able to stay on top of Thurman while taking away his left hook, then this fight could turn out to be a very interesting match-up. It would force Thurman to show more of his game if he wants to win the fight. He’s probably not going to be able to score a knockout over Bundu because this guy has a solid chin, and he’s an experience 2000 Olympian with a lot of talent.

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