Keith “One Time” Thurman is without a doubt boxing’s next big box office draw.
If you don’t think he knows it, you would be sadly mistaken.
On Tuesday’s international conference call with the media, he echoed those statements in preparation for the mega-fight against Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, July 20th.
“This still is the most exciting fight of the year. Errol Spence versus Mikey Garcia and that didn’t hold up to the hype. When Keith Thurman fights, it’s a great fight. I think Keith Thurman makes all the great welterweight fights from here on out. It doesn’t matter who it is, when Keith Thurman fought Shawn Porter, it was nominated for the Fight of the Year. When Keith Thurman fought Danny Garcia, the fans had a tremendous show.
When Keith Thurman fights Manny Pacquiao, if Keith Thurman fights Errol Spence Jr., if Keith Thurman fights Terrence Crawford, I think Keith Thurman is the new Manny Pacquiao. I think I am the most exciting fighter in the welterweight division today. I might show some weakness that might give them a little bit of confidence, but outside of that, like Ellerbe mentioned, Keith Thurman has the best resume at 147. Two years out of the game and I still hold the best resume at 147.”
The weakness he’s referring to was his 7th round in his unanimous decision victory against Josesito Lopez, where Lopez caught the WBA “regular” champion and had him reeling for the round. He not only understands that but says that helps establish how great of a fighter he is.
“So, it isn’t about too much talk, it is what it is, Thurman said on the media call. It probably was one of my most vulnerable rounds of my career to date. A lot of fighters would not be able to get out of the round in the way that I did. And to me it’s just evidence of how great I truly am. They have a little saying in boxing, it’s not about when you get knocked down, it’s about what you do when you get back up.”
Of course, all of this talking will come off as cocky and even over-confident to some. However, I’ve enjoyed every second of the trash talk leading up to this fight and mentioned on the latest edition of the Big Fight Weekend Podcast that it’s bluntly refreshing to hear. It is also worth noting that if he can beat Pacquiao, who is still one of boxing’s biggest pay-per-view draws today; he will join the exclusive company.
So many of these media interviews you get the usual cliches’ and worn out stock statements at these.
“Training Camp was great.”
“I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
“I’m here to shock the world.”
You hear those lines so often you can make a drinking game out of it.
It’s because it falls under the narrative that athletes need “bulletin board material” to motivate them or spark them leading into the event. They’ll always tell you otherwise, and “One Time” is no exception.
“You can’t really take much away from me Thurman said in the media call Tuesday. You can throw some criticism and some shots if you want but, I believe that like I said, I bring entertainment to the welterweight division, always have, always will. If I win, I’m your entertainment, if I lose, I’m your entertainment. Keith Thurman is one of the greatest fighters in the welterweight division today hands down.”
If people are tired of him talking now, they’re going to need earmuffs if he beats Pacquiao after the 20th.