Thurman: I want to be the hardest puncher in the 147lb division
By Dan Ambrose: WBA World welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) says he’s hoping to score a knockout win over #2 WBA Shawn Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) in their fight this month on June 25 on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Thurman’s other goal is for him to be known as the hardest puncher in the welterweight division. Unfortunately, being known as the harest puncher in the 147lb division doesn’t necessarily mean that Thurman will be the best fighter in the weight clas because he’s got some heavy competition in Errol Spence Jr., Kell Brook and Danny Garcia.
Those three welterweights hit plenty hard, and if there’s any separation between them, it’s not by enough for it to matter much. Instead of Thurman hoping to be known as the hardest hitter at 147, he should wish for having the highest punch resistance and the best defensive skills. Power is overrated in the 147lb division. There are too many guys with excellent punching power in this weight class that are still not going anywhere with their careers.
“My goal is to be known as the hardest hitting welterweight in the division,” said Thurman. “My lifelong goal is to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world – and I have a ways to go in unifying the titles. Once I move past Shawn I look forward to the challenge of making my dreams come true. I’m blessed to be where I am today.”
Instead of Thurman worrying about being the hardest puncher in the welterweight division, he needs to focus his attention on the task at hand. He’s got to find a way to defeat the 28-year-old Shawn Porter on June 25, and he’s got to do it in a way in which he doesn’t stink up the place by running around the ring all night long. It’s one thing winning the fight and looking good, and another thing where you win and look poor.
Thurman hasn’t looked good in recent fights against Luis Collazo, Leonard Bundu, Jesus Soto Karass and Diego Chaves. Thurman was hurt by Soto Karass, Collazo and Chaves. Those guys are decent fighters, but definitely not in the same league as Porter.
Thurman ended up taking some major shots from Robert Guerrero last year in March 2015. Thurman won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision, but he ended up with a large goose egg on his forehead that took a lot of time to disappear.
Thurman promised that he was going to stand in the pocket and punch with Guerrero, but he soon found out after just four rounds that he couldn’t do it. Guerrero was landing too many heavy shots for Thurman, and this resulted in Thurman getting on his bike and resorting to his normal hit and run style of fighting.
It would be good for Thurman if he could stand in the pocket and fight like IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. If Thurman could fight like that, he would have a lot more fans than he does now. That’s the kind of fighter that the welterweight division needs to take over the division, but it’s pretty clear in watching Thurman’s last six fights, he’s not that type of fighter and he’s never going to be that kind of guy.
Thurman doesn’t react well to getting hit, and he doesn’t seem willing to put his chin on the line to put himself in danger to land those kinds of shots. Thurman is a hit and run fighter, a kind of blend of Floyd Mayweather Jr. during his earlier years when he was more mobile and Marcos Maidana.