Keith Thurman wants Erislandy Lara fight at 154
By Dan Ambrose: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he wants to go up to 154 to challenge WBA secondary junior middleweight champion Erislandy Lara for the sake of becoming a two-division world champion.
The talented Cuban Lara is a young 39, and he might have too much talent for Thurman. It’s fair to say that if the 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao was too much for Thurman in 2019, the 5’9″ southpaw Lara could do the same or worse.
All the tricks that Thurman used to defeat Mario Barrios last February won’t be nearly as effective against Lara, who has seen it all during his years on the Cuban national team.
If Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) can dethrone the technically skilled Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs), it would improve his chances of battling undisputed 154-lb champion Jermell Charlo for his four belts.
Ideally, the 33-year-old Thurman would prefer to fight IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence or WBO champion Terence Crawford, but those two are in negotiations for a fight later this year.
Thurman, not surprisingly, is impatient and doesn’t want to wait around to try and get a shot against the Spence vs. Crawford winner. What if they choose to fight someone else?
‘One Time Thurman has missed out on a lot of great fights during the last five years since 2017 due to his inactivity related to injuries and enjoying the fruits of labor.
“I said I was willing to move up because Lara mentioned my name,” Thurman said to FightHub TV. “He mentioned Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman.
“It just seems like he just wants to fight a name. I’d be willing to do that too,” Thurman continued.
“If that’s the best contract I can get right here right now and be a three-time two-division world champion, you know.
“I don’t want to be at ’54; I am devoted to ’47. But when you say those words out loud, ‘three-time, two divisional world champion, Keith One Time Thurman.’ Okay, that sounds a little too nice. You send the paperwork over; I’ll probably sign it.”
It’ll be risky for Thurman to battle Lara, but it could pay off big time if he beats him.
Thurman is ranked #1 WBC, #3 WBA, #3 WBO, and #6 IBF at 147 and in a good spot to get a world title shot. Unfortunately, Keith might not get that title shot against the Spence-Crawford winner, which means he needs to do something.
- Thurman believes he’s the back-up option for Spence vs. Crawford
- Keith Thurman willing to fight Conor Benn next
- Conor Benn says Thurman won’t fight him, “May as well retire”
- Keith Thurman open to Danny Garcia rematch