Keith Thurman – One Time or Time’s Up

The main brass behind a certain sports network giant somewhere in Connecticut seems to really care about a fight set to take place in Tampa, Florida. They’ve done it right this time as well. All precautions have been made to ensure that the live telecast goes off with neither hitch nor delay.

For more times than us boxing faithful would care to count, our weekly dose of “Friday Night Fights” was oftentimes put on a temporary hold as a college softball game found its way to get even painstakingly slower and slower. Such a setback won’t occur tonight however, as the network will precede the “Premier Boxing Champions” telecast with an hourlong replay of what is not a sport by any stretch of the imaginative, poker.

Unbeaten Keith “One Time” Thurman (25-0, 21 KO’s) will test his mettle as part of a homecoming affair in his home state of Florida against the rugged and well traveled Luis Collazo (36-6, 19 KO’s). Thurman has been at the forefront of a handful of live telecasts over the past few years and a brief moment of bad press of his own doing may have gained him a few admirers along the way. In June 2013, Keith had just dispatched of Diego Chaves in ten rounds for the interim WBA Welterweight crown at the AT&T Center in San Antonio when he mistakenly gave his audible thanks to the city of San Diego in error. It happens and any of us who have been hit in the face a few times have probably had our own unique “Hello, Cleveland” moment.

To be sure, ESPN has pulled out all the stops for this one as evidenced on Friday by its live coverage of the weigh in as well as the consistent details about the two combatants on its ever moving ticker across the bottom of our TV screens. It has certainly tossed at the sport the biggest of proverbial crumbs, thanks in great part to the experiment in progress set forth by Al Haymon not too long ago. Thurman has all the makings of a great champion and is one to consider at the forefront of boxing’s future as well as present. In addition to the aforementioned Chaves, “One Time” scored a very impressive, one sided win over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero last March and holds knockout victories over such names as Jesus Soto Karass, Carlos Quintana and Julio Diaz.

He’s also made no secret of his burning itch to fight Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Chances are Floyd will announce his opponent of choice sometime over the next few days, and thereby eliminate Thurman from the possible running for his bout on September 12. Should Keith absolutely maul through Collazo in Tampa, then the probability is very high that the Clearwater native will take up from where he left off a few days ago. In a recent interview with Michael Woods, Thurman openly ripped Mayweather and stated that the sport’s top fighter (not to mention the highest paid athlete on the planet) cares more about the number of zeroes on his fight night paycheck than the legacy he will leave whenever he does indeed retire for good.

Talk is just that and it’s still cheap. Collazo is no slouch. The hardened fighter from New York has been in the ring with such names as Ricky Hatton, Shane Mosley, Andre Berto, Victor Ortiz and most recently, Amir Khan. Many will argue that the fact that he didn’t knock out Ricky Hatton in May of 2006 was the only reason he was on the losing end of a very close contest. Hatton was slowly being introduced in the first of an eventual four fight run in the United States which ended in December of the following year. Hatton was put in his place via a tenth round TKO loss against Mayweather to the utter shock of a boisterous, loud and drunk MGM arena packed with Hatton’s faithful from across the pond.

Luis gave Andre Berto all he could handle in a close decision defeat in January of 2009. He handed a surprising second round knockout to Victor Ortiz early last year. Collazo is no one’s moving target, however the pressure to perform is squarely on Keith Thurman. The bout is going head to head against a huge pay per view UFC fight card in Las Vegas, although that in and of itself may be a dead argument. Presentation wise, Premier Boxing Champions delivers a great product in a manner which could appeal to the non boxing crowds. Should Thurman triumph via an impressive knockout win versus a man who’s only been knocked out once (over a dozen years ago) or even do so in a very impressive wash, then why not, at least feasibly pencil him in for Mexican Independence Day weekend in Las Vegas?

A bout with Mayweather could be a meaningful one for the boxing game, especially if the smoke and mirrors apparition of Floyd fighting on free TV is made a reality. At least one of these ideas could happen in two months. Keith would be clamoring at the chance to tarnish “Money’s” perfect record of forty eight wins against no losses.

Chances are however slim that he gets the chance so soon or that he’d do enough to conquer the king of boxing in his farewell outing. One day at a time is what is needed here. “One Time” may get his one day, so when and if he indeed gets the chance, more eyes will be upon him. Be careful what you wish for, young Thurman and assure yourself of one sure thing: your hopes for “out with the old and in with the new” could easily be more a case of “out with the new and still in with the old, nothing is new.” We’ll know a little bit more tonight in the city named after its constant lightning storms by the region’s original inhabitants.

Here’s to hoping he does not disappoint.

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COMMENTS

-brownsugar :

I like Thurman, his youthful confidence is refreshing. He's positive and well spoken, and best of all he's expressed a strong desire to fight everyone at the top of the division but his sentiments for facing the best at 147 has not been reciprocated by his peers. Or rather it's the management of his peers who don't feel they should risk building Thurman's resume at their own expense. Thurman made a statement by getting past Guerrero, many thought the Ghost's experience would drown the relative newcomer in the late rounds. While Guerrero did stage a late round surge, Thurman was able to hold on for a decisive win. I think if your looking at the grand picture, Thurman isn't quite as proficient a knockout puncher as Trinidad or a prime Shane Mosely was, and he's not the technician that De LA Hoya was, and I'm not sure he could even outlast the nonstop assault of a prime brick-fisted Margarito, even without the brick pads, but I think he's better than say a Milton McCrory,... ... if he remains dedicated he could obtain the same level of success similar to Marlon Starling or Buddy McGirt. Two very solid, successful fighters. I think Thurman will make things very interesting in the welterweight division until guys like Erroll Spence are ready to take over, but that's only if Spence can still make 147 in 2016. The kid looks leaner than a prime Holyfield who was only 7% body fat. Which is probably why Spence is allowing Floyd to push him toward a title fight. Floyd has a tendency to push his fighters into fights they are not ready for, which is why many of them have losses on their record. Its as if he is applying his own personal standards to his fighters.... Aim high, but there's only one Floyd..... however in this case I believe Spence can deliver...the kid is special. While Thurman is a very dangerous, I think his management wants to protect the Thurman mystique, .......preserve his record so he can be exhibited as the heir apparent to the welterweight throne, at least for the short term. So no matter how good Thurman looks today, I doubt that he'll be chosen to be fed to the ever growing Mayweather legacy. Although personally I would welcome the fight,... Even on PPV.


-brownsugar :

Collazo's right eye is looking horrible, be surprised if this lasts 12 rounds.


-amayseng :

KT is annoying, he has a terrible personality and is far from articulate. He is a thudding puncher and that is all. He would not beat Floyd, Pac, Bradley,Brook, Khan, Porter or Chino.


-brownsugar :

Everyone has there own opinion, I really like him, at least the way he prevents himself. Very confident and upbeat athlete... . Hopefully the rest of the frightened welterweights who have avoided Thurman for so long feel like you do and we can see some titles unification bouts. I still feel like Thurman can inflict heavy damage on every welter you mentioned amayseng, but I have no predictions.


-amayseng :

I have been routing for him for quite some time, I just see a lot of holes in his game. He is FAR from sharp and gets hurt quite often. His coordination is poor as well. Floyd would box his ears off and walk him down if he wanted to. I am all for the go after the big dogs attitude, but he has not shown anything special so he needs to calm his own hype down. I am not impressed by a big mouth, but by his actions in the ring.


-brownsugar :

Collazo quits in the eighth, can't see, result of a head but to the eye. Parties over, interesting while it lasted, Collazo actually hurt Thurman in the 5th and was in berserker mode most of the fight. The rest of the division will be more willing to fight Thurman after this. Not a bad fight at all.


-brownsugar :

I have been routing for him for quite some time, I just see a lot of holes in his game. He is FAR from sharp and gets hurt quite often. His coordination is poor as well. Floyd would box his ears off and walk him down if he wanted to. I am all for the go after the big dogs attitude, but he has not shown anything special so he needs to calm his own hype down. I am not impressed by a big mouth, but by his actions in the ring.
That's cool, I see Thurman as a respectful guy with lots of confidence, And Thurman backs up his talk ... let's see who comes forward to meet him in the ring. I look forward to matching notes with you when his next opponent is revealed, I will put up a friendly plate of Crow....for the record as of today I only have Sadam Ali, (possibly Bradley) and Erroll Spence beating him at 147,... Pac won't be the same when he comes back....age and wear and tear.


-amayseng :

That's cool, I see Thurman as a respectful guy with lots of confidence, And Thurman backs up his talk ... let's see who comes forward to meet him in the ring. I look forward to matching notes with you when his next opponent is revealed, I will put up a friendly plate of Crow....for the record as of today I only have Sadam Ali, (possibly Bradley) and Erroll Spence beating him at 147,... Pac won't be the same when he comes back....age and wear and tear.
You dont think Brook would beat him? Brook has superior skill to KT among other attributes. I think Porter wears him down and beats him up. Hell Collazo, who is not a heavy hitter had KT hurt and running for the last 3 rounds. Thurman is a very good thudding puncher with decent footwork. Though he is far from polished or sharp and if you get a seasoned guy in there with him then he would be in trouble. Like I said, I have been routing for KT for years, but he does not have that special effect.


-brownsugar :

You dont think Brook would beat him? Brook has superior skill to KT among other attributes. I think Porter wears him down and beats him up. Hell Collazo, who is not a heavy hitter had KT hurt and running for the last 3 rounds. Thurman is a very good thudding puncher with decent footwork. Though he is far from polished or sharp and if you get a seasoned guy in there with him then he would be in trouble. Like I said, I have been routing for KT for years, but he does not have that special effect.
No special effects, but a good solid conscientious worker, way more focused and disciplined than Broner. I've seen Keith slug, I'm glad he didn't rely on his former reckless ways to stand toe to toe with Collazo, I'm hoping the kid saves that stuff for when it counts against a guy like Porter. Anyway they had better get on with determining who the best is now, because Ali, Spence, and the Russians are coming, the welterweight division will have a completely different face in two years.


-Radam G :

KT is annoying, he has a terrible personality and is far from articulate. He is a thudding puncher and that is all. He would not beat Floyd, Pac, Bradley,Brook, Khan, Porter or Chino.
I big time agree. I don't know why some many are blinded to sidewalk pugs. I guess because these types of pugs are undefeated by scrapping with B- and c+ pugs. Holla!