At this point, fans have every right to believe that Keith Thurman is a retired fighter. His name may permeate throughout the boxing world but in terms of actually jumping into the ring, Thurman rarely does that anymore.
Let’s be more specific, Thurman, now 35, has fought just three times in six years. But when he was a bit more active and at the top of his game, he was considered one of the best fighters in the world. On March 30th, in Las Vegas, Nevada, he’ll do his best to prove that he hasn’t lost a step when he takes on Tim Tszyu.
A few things are working against Thurman heading in. For starters, he’s agreed to fight Tszyu at a catchweight of 155 pounds as opposed to standing his ground in the welterweight division where he made his name. Secondly, Tszyu has been one of the most active fighters in all of boxing, routinely fighting three times a year. But, according to Shawn Porter, that’s where the so-called advantages end.
On paper, Porter knows that Thurman has no business being the favorite. Actually, it shouldn’t even be competitive. However, that thought process can only be gleaned through lazy surface-level analysis. If you took the time to look a bit deeper, you’ll realize that Tszyu has placed himself in a hirsute situation.
“He’s not the smaller fighter,” Porter told Pro Box TV. “I know where he’s been fighting at in his career would suggest that he’s the smaller fighter but he’s gonna be just as big if not bigger than Tim Tszyu on fight night. That being said, Tim Tszyu has the perfect style for Keith Thurman. Tim Tszyu is a fighter that’s gonna do one of two things. He’s either gonna wait on a perfect shot. If he’s not waiting on that perfect shot, he’s walking directly forward. Either way, Keith is gonna bounce around the ring. He’s gonna pull whatever patience Tim thinks he has at this point in his career and he’s gonna force him to walk into those shots.”
No, Porter isn’t just being nice to his good friend. He simply remembers a time when Thurman was one of the baddest men on the planet. He may need to put in serious work during training camp to turn back the clock but Porter has a feeling that by the time the final bell rings, Thurman will prove that he had a Time Machine tucked away and waiting for this perfect moment.
“I think we’re gonna see a version of Keith that we haven’t seen since he’s been in the ring with me, certainly since he’s been in the ring since Danny Garcia.”