Tszyu Welcomes Thurman Backers, Dares them to Put Money Up

By Dan Ambrose - 02/20/2024 - Comments

Tim Tszyu welcomes the people picking Keith Thurman to defeat him on March 30th. Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe and boxing expert Shawn Porter are just the latest people choosing the inactive 35-year-old Thurman to defeat Tszyu, and more are coming each day.

The unbeaten WBO junior middleweight champion Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) gladly accepts his underdog status, and he’s looking forward to proving his skeptics wrong when he meets the former WBA & WBC welterweight champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) next month in their 12-round headliner on Amazon Prime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The Sweet Sound of Underestimation

It’s a great opportunity for Tszyu, 29, to face the still-popular former welterweight star Thurman in a fight that should be interesting for as long as it lasts. What makes it even more compelling is the younger fighter, Tszyu, who many view as the #1 guy at 154, being pegged as the underdog by fans.

Boxing royalty Leonard Ellerbe and Shawn Porter both see Thurman as the guy who will come out victorious, and they don’t care that he’s fought just three times since 2017, facing these guys:

  • Mario Barrios: 2022
  • Manny Pacquiao: July 2019
  • Josesito Lopez: January 2019

That’s not nearly enough fights for Thurman to have retained the physical tools he once had during the prime of his career, and we don’t know how much he’s lost from his game. 35 is not young, especially sitting around reading books, yapping about this or that, and not returning to work like hard-working folk.

Obviously, being rich has been good to Thurman, allowing him to sit inactive through most of the last seven years. Returning to work after all these years to face a talented fighter with the kind of power Tszyu possesses is a tall order for anyone, even for Thurman.

Invitation to the Skeptics

“Beautiful. Just be sure to put your money where your mouth is,” said Tszyu to Fox Sports Australia.

“But I also think it’s great to have all sorts of opinions on this fight. When people have questions, that’s how you build a fight. And it’s because no matter what you achieve, the critics will always be there. So, Leonard Ellerbe, Shawn Porter, and others backed Thurman. I like it.”

Even if Tszyu wins, he’s not likely to get his detractors to give him credit and admit they got it wrong. They’ll point out Thurman’s advanced age and inactivity.