Tszyu Must Target Keith Thurman’s “Breadbasket” – Kevin Cunningham

By KenWoods123 - 03/13/2024 - Comments

Trainer Kevin Cunningham says Tim Tszyu should target former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman’s “breadbasket” in their 12-round headliner fight on March 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Thurman’s weakness throughout his 17-year professional career has been taking body shots, and that flaw in his game likely hasn’t improved with his inactivity over the last two years.

Cunningham sees this as a very tough fight for the 35-year-old Thurman. He’s not young, and he’ll be fighting one of the biggest punchers in a weight class that he’s not competed in during his career at 154.

With just three fights in the last seven years since 2017, Thurman is going into his match against Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs) in unsuitable conditions. Most knowledgeable boxing fans view this as a tough ask for Thurman, given all the strikes against him.

Thurman should have taken a couple of tune-up fights at 154 to prepare him for the match against Tszyu, but that’s not his style. Besides, if Thurman had told PBC that he needed some tune-ups, this match-up wouldn’t be offered to him later on down the road.

“If Keith Thurman has the legs, he can run Tszyu into a power shot. I think it could be a hard fight for Thurman. I really think he has the power to hurt Tim Tszyu,” said trainer Kevin Cunningham during Tuesday’s Virtual Roundtable, analyzing the March 30th fight between the younger, bigger, stronger, more active junior middleweight Tim Tszyu and the inactive, aging former welterweight champion Keith Thurman.

If Thurman can catch Tszyu with a big shot, he could theoretically knock him out. The problem is, Thurman hasn’t knocked anyone out in nine years since his seventh-round stoppage of Luis Collazo in 2015. Thurman was 26 when he stopped Collazo, and he’s not the young lion now.

That’s a long time for a fighter to go between knockouts, which suggests that Thurman can’t score a TKO over Tszyu, especially with this match being at 154.

“If I were training Tim Tszyu, I’d apply pressure and try to break Thurman down into the body. Thurman is moving up in weight and has had trouble with body shots in the past, so we’d test that bread basket,” said Cunningham.

Tszyu is a headhunter who rarely goes to the body in his fights. Unless he’s committed to following a game plan, He will ignore Thurman’s body.

YouTube video