Keith Thurman Meets the Press

by
Keith Thurman Meets the Press
“I am investing my life into this sport. Boxing has been great to me. It's really a blessing.” (Photo: Premier Boxing Champions)

Keith Thurman Meets the Press

by
Keith Thurman Meets the Press
“I am investing my life into this sport. Boxing has been great to me. It's really a blessing.” (Photo: Premier Boxing Champions)

“I am investing my life into this sport. Boxing has been great to me. It's really a blessing.” (Photo: Premier Boxing Champions)
“I am investing my life into this sport. Boxing has been great to me. It’s really a blessing.” (Photo: Premier Boxing Champions)

WBA World welterweight champion Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida, defends his title against former welterweight champion Luis Collazo (36-6, 19 KOs), from Queens by way of Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday, July 11, at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, in the inaugural Premier Boxing Champions fight card on ESPN.

Thurman is not grandiose. He is not narcissistic. He doesn’t eat raw meat, drink petrol, breathe fire, or soak his face in brine. He has long hair. He strums a guitar. He plays the shakuhachi. He’s got the philosophical cool of a Zen master.

During a recent teleconference call, Thurman was his typical easygoing self. When asked about his “reluctance” on being anointed the next big thing is boxing, Thurman was grace personified.

“Well, at the end of the day I’m just Keith Thurman,” he said, “and I just enjoy being the person that I am. I enjoy some of the spotlight but there are moments where it can be a little overwhelming. It’s in my dreams being one of the major champions in the sport of boxing. I’m 26 years old, a young guy, and we’re learning constantly in the ring and outside of the ring. I try to stay levelheaded. I try to stay humble and do the best I can. I’m looking forward to the career that’s ahead of me.”

Thurman’s not the only one who’s looking forward to the career that’s ahead of him.

“Each fight is a new experience. I’ve been on HBO, Showtime, NBC and now ESPN. I’m building my name. I’m becoming more popular. It’s really just a journey. Every fighter bears weight on their shoulders but it’s not weight that we can’t handle. If it was weight that we couldn’t handle we wouldn’t be in the position that we’re in. So it’s just growing and learning and evolving and understanding this world of boxing.”

Few expect Collazo to win Saturday night. He’s a tough competitor. He always comes to fight. But Thurman is in a class of his own.

“He’s going to do his best not allow me to look excellent,” said Thurman. “He’s going to do his best to make them upset in my hometown and he has an opportunity to become the world champion. He’s going to be as sharp as he can be. He’s going to be looking for the weaknesses that approach him in the fight. He has a lot of skills. He has a lot of knowledge. We’re looking forward to whatever experience Luis Collazo brings into the ring. But one thing is, out of all the champions, I believe that my punching power is still above anybody that he fought, so that’s going to be something new.

“At this level, no fighter is coming to get knocked out, they know what they’re up against and they know they’re up against dangerous fighters. The number one rule in boxing is protect yourself at all times and they’re aware of that. They’re trying to box hard, they’re trying to be crafty and outdo me, but we want the knockouts.”

The fact that Thurman is well-rounded might be considered a drawback. But others believe it’s a virtue.

“I’ve just been around boxing for a long time,” he said. “I’ve been around a lot of old heads in boxing and I’ve stayed essential to the sport. At seven years old I just saw boxing as a form of martial arts and hand-to-hand combat. I saw an opportunity for a young man to become strong man. I’ve used my abilities to learn and to evolve to be where I am today. So one thing that I know in life is boxing. Back in the day right before I turned pro I use to never watch professional boxing. It was like one of the last things I’d ever want to watch on TV. But now that is my career, I’m just more involved and more inclined to it. My whole life all I wanted to do was be a professional boxer and here we are world champion. I have more invested into it. I am investing my life into this sport and so I give it my all, inside the ring and outside the ring and I have a passion for it. Boxing has been great to me. It’s really a blessing.”

The Pod Index will be scoring Thurman vs. Collazo live with three anonymous professional judges in real-time.

This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.


WBA Ratings movements as of June 2015

WBA Ratings movements as of June 2015



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