Does Keith Thurman Still Have What It Takes?

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Posted on 02/17/2024

By: Sean Crose

It was just over ten years ago when Keith Thurman, then in his mid twenties, turned out the lights on Jesus Soto Karass with a thunderous three punch combination. That was at the Alamodome in San Antonio, on the undercard of the Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana card. Florida’s Thurman looked so destructive that night, so powerful and effective, that it was up to the imagination to wonder how far the man might well fly during the course of his career. Now, over a decade later it’s safe to say Thurman has accomplished a lot for himself.

There have been victories over the likes of Robert Guerrero, Danny Garcia, and Shawn Porter, after all. There have also been world title wins. Without doubt, Thurman, now 35, has been nothing if not a success story. Yet it’s hard not to feel a sense of disappointment when the fighter known as “One Time” comes to mind. No one can hold the fact that Thurman lost a close fight to the great Manny Pacquiao against him, of course. The man’s overall lack of activity in the ring, however, is another matter.

Thurman will be facing Australia’s Tim Tszyu on March 30th. It will be his first fight in over two years. What’s more, it will only mark Thurman’s fifth fight since he defeated Danny Garcia by decision in 2017. That’s just five fights in seven years. Thurman has had reasons for his time away, of course, at least some of it. No one can blame the man for accidents and/or injuries. Where’s he been, though? Accidents and injuries alone don’t add up to the time the man has spent outside the ring.

Not that any of it will matter when he slips inside the ropes at the T-Mobile Arena to take on Tszyu later next month. Or will it? Tszyu is undefeated. He’s also about half a decade younger than Thurman. In other words, the young man presents a real threat. Should Thurman win that night, though, should he resemble that forceful Thurman of old, then he will quickly find himself being a potential opponent for the likes of Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, Jaron Ennis and other top names. In short, he’ll be back in the figurative game.

Should Thurman taste defeat at the gloved hands of Tszyu, however, he will likely be seen by many as a man whose time has passed. And who will likely have no one to blame but himself for the ring rust. The question is a simple but pointed one: Does Keith Thurman still have what it takes?

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