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Guerrero: Keith Thurman isn’t ready for Mayweather yet

thurman333By Jim Dower: Last night, former two division belt winner Robert Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs) suffered a 12 round unanimous decision defeat at the hands of WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. In some ways, Thurman gave Guerrero a worse beating than Floyd Mayweather Jr did in his win over Guerrero in May of 2013.

The Thurman-Guerrero fight was a lot more competitive than the Mayweather-Guerrero fight, because Guerrero was able to land his power shots all night long against Thurman. Guerrero rarely missed with his shots. The only thing that made it difficult for Guerrero to land was the movement that Thurman used in the last six rounds.

Thurman ended up winning the fight by the scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 118-109. The score of 120-107 was way off from the fight that took place in the ring last night, as Guerrero clearly won at least two to three rounds. He had Thurman hurt in the 10th round when he bounced back from a knockdown in the previous round.

Guerrero was asked after the fight if he felt that Thurman is ready for a fight against Mayweather, and he said didn’t think he was ready.

“He’s [Thurman] a solid fighter, but Floyd is extremely fast. His reaction time is quick,” Guerrero said at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night. “I couldn’t even land punches on him [Mayweather], really. That’s how quick he is. It’s how quick his reaction time is. In time maybe he’ll [Thurman] be ready. He’s a solid fighter, he’s got good boxing skills. He’s got good power in both hands.”

Guerrero is right. Thurman isn’t ready. His defense isn’t good enough right now for him to compete against Mayweather, and he needs to make his fights more exciting by using less movement. Thurman needs to learn how to defend himself in the pocket better so he doesn’t have to run and stink up the joint so often.

Last night, Thurman had some good moments in many of the rounds, but then he’d mess things up by moving laterally in running around the ring. It wasn’t moving, it was running and it didn’t look good at all.

The crowd booed Thurman and let him know that they didn’t want to see him running from a guy that he was hurting with his shots. For Thurman to get popular enough for there to be a demand for a fight between him and Mayweather, it’s going to take a total revamp of Thurman’s game. He’s got to stop running, and he’s got to learn how to stay in the pocket.

Until Thurman stops running, I don’t see him ever getting a huge fan base. Thurman needs to take a hint by following how WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin fights. That’s the way that Thurman needs to fight if he wants to become a huge star in the welterweight division. Golovkin never runs from his opponents. He’s staying in the pocket or he’s on the attack. There is no reverse gear with Golovkin, because he doesn’t run from his opponents like Thurman does.

Thurman’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya recently said this about Golovkin: “He can’t beat you moving side to side or going back. One thing I’ve learned about Golovkin, because I’ve studied him, is he can’t move back. He can’t fight moving back.”

De La Hoya went on to say that Thurman is better than Golovkin because he can move laterally and backwards to escape pressure from his opponents. But what De La Hoya doesn’t realize is that Golovkin doesn’t need to move backwards, and he wouldn’t do it anyways. That’s why he’s so popular.

If Thurman wants to become a more popular fighter then he’s going to need to stop running and start staying in the attack mode. Until then, he’s going to be just another one of the many welterweight champions, but one without a huge fan base.

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