Keith Thurman excited to fight in front of his wife for the first time!
On July 20, WBA super world welterweight champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KO’s) will face Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KO’s) in the MGM Grand located in Las Vegas, Nevada. The significant title fight will be aired live via FOX pay-per-view.
For the eight division champion Pacquiao, fighting on pay-per-view is nothing new. The gifted fighter has done so on numerous occasions.
For Thurman, however, this will mark his first time under the brightest lights that the sport can shine. Not only will Thurman be competing on pay-per-view, in the biggest fight of his career, he will be fighting in front of his new wife for the first time as well.
A FALL FROM GRACE
At one point in the fairly recent past, Thurman was universally recognized as the top dog of the welterweight division. One marriage, an injury and a two-year layoff later, this is not hardly the case anymore. Not only is he no longer regarded as the best in the division, countless people question if he even wants to be.
In many respects, Thurman only has himself to blame for this shift in perception.
To begin, during his two-year hiatus, he virtually disappeared from the media spotlight and all public engagement. Rather than maintain his public persona, One Time opted to heal and enjoy life with his new bride in seclusion. Once he reemerged, it didn’t help at all that Thurman consistently said he would not fight any dangerous fighters anytime soon.
Furthermore, One Time appeared very content to continue to avoid his longtime rival Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. This rubbed the boxing fan base extremely wrong. More recently, Thurman incurred more contempt by saying he had zero desire to face the fantastically skilled Terence “Bud” Crawford.
From the outside looking in, one of the biggest theories regarding Thurman’s sharp change in demeanor and talking points is his new bride. The prevalent belief is that a few juicy paydays combined with the joys of holy matrimony had quelled One Time’s professional hunger.
Boxing requires its finest participants to lead a rugged existence and it appeared that Thurman was content to enjoy the plusher luxuries in life.
FOR BETTER OR WORSE?
When Thurman tangles with Pacquiao on July 20, he will do so with his new bride sitting in the audience. Some question if her presence will prove to be a beneficial motivation or troubling distraction. During a recent appearance on PBC on FOX, Thurman revealed his feelings on the matter when directly asked.
Apparently, Shawn Porter was very curious about the situation because this was one of the main questions that he posed to One Time. Given his response, the hard-hitting Floridian is not overly concerned with the situation.
“I do my best man, you know? Family, loved ones, you know, my wife. I’m really excited for her to be here in Las Vegas. She’s never been in Las Vegas before, she’s never been to one of my fights before and this is the biggest fight of my career.
“So I’m really excited. Of course I want to perform, I want to make her proud, I want to make all my family proud.”
Yet, going a step further, One Time did inform the FOX crew that while fighting in front of his lady will be new, scrapping in front of anxious loved is not.
“I had a stressful fight against you [Shawn Porter]. You had me against the ropes. My whole family was watching and I could hear them yelling at me and in my head I said: ‘look, if I gotta deal with this right now, you gotta deal with this right now. Just let ya boy go to work! I’m working, ok?!’”
In the end, time will tell how Thurman’s bride does, or doesn’t, affect his fight night outcome.
By: Bakari Simpson