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The Thurminator: A Man Amongst men

Keith Thurman Luis CollazoBy Jonathan Gonzalez: Having exploded onto the boxing scene over the last years, Keith Thurman hasn’t wasted any time in carving out his name amongst the greatest of boxing’s hottest division today. It’s one thing to be a standout where competition is scarce but to become the known as the “boogeyman” in a realm where boxing’s #1 pound-for-pound fighter resides is something in and of itself.

That’s not to say that Thurman would handle Mr. Money Mayweather easily, but to be considered a potential threat to the throne merits enough credit considering the countless number of fighters in the world struggling to make names for themselves.

Now put that into perspective with the fact that the welterweight division is also home to legends Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez; current/former champions Kell Brook, Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan, Shawn Porter, Marcos Maidana; and hungry lions like Sadam Ali and Errol Spence. It’s no wonder Thurman has had to do so much to get attention, and that’s only counting the fighters officially fighting at the welterweight limit (this article could go on for a long time if we included fighters listed between 140-154).

That’s the thing about Thurman though, I’m sure he wouldn’t be daunted by the task of taking on any of the names listed and not listed. He’s climbed up the ladder in a way that’s reminiscent of the old-school mentality he so purely embodies. Gifted athletically, Thurman’s boxer-puncher style carries a finesse that’s beyond his years. While he loves the knockouts, he’s never been one to rush and muddle his craft. He’s shown that in recent outings against Leonard Bundu and Robert Guerrero, which took him all 12 rounds for the first times in his career. Many questioned the way Thurman would respond to lengthy combat – several eyebrows were raised at points during his bout with Diego Chaves, who competed fairly well before getting put away by Thurman’s bombs. However, as any great champion does over time, Thurman has molded his style to suit his gifts beautifully and the results of his work have showed in subsequent bouts. There’s an energetic, explosiveness to his style, but not a nervous, frantic energy; it’s more like he’s a mad scientist – sinister and calculated in his approach. He knows when to turn it on and when to switch it up.

Now, with his upcoming bout against Luis Collazo, an opponent most fans and critics have responded to lukewarmly, Thurman being given what’s considered a showcase fight. The challenge with Collazo, however, will be how spectacular can Thurman look that night. As someone who had to work his way up the ladder to greatness, Thurman understands the severe effect a poor performance could have on his career. While athletes in others sports like football and basketball are allowed a bad night, but can come back the next week and shine, boxers aren’t held to the same standards. They don’t fight every week. In fact, with the way this year is going, Thurman will only fight once more after the bout with Collazo. That only increases the demand for greatness each time he steps up to the stage. I believe that July 11th, the thousands of fans in his home state of Florida and the millions around the world viewing the bout will not be disappointed.

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