Is Keith Thurman no longer hungry to be the best?
Boy, how time changes things and people! Anybody remember that upcoming, unbeaten welterweight prospect turned contender and eventual champion from Clearwater, Florida, Keith Thurman? You know, the guy who straight disrespected then-WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi back in 2013 with the famous quote, “Don’t duck me son!”?
Furthermore, the guy who’s shared the ring with champions Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Robert Guerrero? Yes, that Thurman. Unfortunately for fans of his, and the sport of boxing, that Thurman is ancient history.
Yes, he’s fighting a living legend in Manny Pacquiao on July 20. While still dangerous, it must be pointed out that Pacquiao is 40 years-old. Thurman has faced criticism for his inability to stay healthy by no fault of his own.
He has, likewise, endured criticism for his constant clear, nonchalant attitude regarding potential fights with fellow welterweight champions Errol Spence Jr and Terence Crawford.
At a recent media day workout, Thurman fielded questions about fighting Crawford. He gave an answer that should never come out of the mouth of a fighter who claims to be the best in his division and aspires to be one of best in the history of the sport.
“I have no interest in a Crawford fight. It doesn’t interest me. They may find a way to interest me, they can entice me. But I’ve never felt that interested. I was interested in the Danny Garcia fight when he moved up.
“He had a lot of credentials, he dominated a division that didn’t have 140 pound fighters.”
The statement about Garcia is confusing, as Thurman seems to be saying that he chose to target a guy who had the credentials, but against lackluster competition. However, he still demanded a fight with him. How does Crawford not entice Thurman when he unified the junior welterweight division then immediately rose to the top at welterweight?
Garcia was only able to capture 3 of the 4 belts at junior welterweight. Most consider Crawford, who has won titles in three weight divisions, a top three pound for pound fighter in the world. Garcia does not share similar praise.
Additionally, he has already mentioned in the past that he is not interested in a fight with IBF champion Errol Spence Jr as well. The Spence situation is perplexing too since he seesaws back and fourth on wanting and not wanting that fight.
It’s clear as day to me, other boxing pundits and fans that Thurman seems to only be in boxing now for the big money fights against guys he’s already beaten or guys who have seen better days. It’s time to stop asking for the real Keith Thurman to stand up and realize this is who he is now; more businessman than fighter!
By: Jerrell Fletcher