The Strange Career Of Keith Thurman

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Posted on 03/18/2024

By: Sean Crose

Another dream of a Keith Thurman fight has been deferred. While a fight was set for later this month between the former welterweight world titlist and the red hot Tim Tszyu, word arrived on Monday that an injury to one of Thurman’s biceps will keep the fighter known as “One Time” from making it to the ring on schedule. The tall and dangerous Sebastian Fundura will be acting as Thurman’s replacement that night. The fight between he and Tszyu might well prove to be interesting – but it would have been nice to see Thurman in the ring once more.

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For, although he essentially fights part time now – if his activity rate even constitutes a part time work rate these days – Thurman can be fun, both in and out of the ring. He’s brash, he’s skilled, and he’s unique, traits that make for must see boxing. Indeed, it’s a shame fans haven’t gotten to see more of the man in the past half decade or so. Thurman’s only fought twice in the past five years, and one of those fights saw the man suffer his only loss – a close one to the great Manny Pacquiao back in 2019.

And yet the man looked confident in the leadup to his scheduled fight with Tszyu. It would have been fascinating to see how Thurman, now 35, would have held up against a member of the younger generation of fighters. We still may get to see it yet, but the clock is ticking and Thurman, for whatever reason, isn’t often active. Hopefully Thurman can get another big fight if he heals up well. A battle with the magnificent Terence Crawford has always been a fascinating possibility.

Were fans not to see Thurman in the ring again, however, there’s no denying the man would have had quite a career for himself. Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia, Robert Guerrero, these have been among Thurman’s top level peers for around the past decade, and he’s defeated all of them. And again, that Pacquiao match was his first and only loss. Unfortunately, Monday’s news once again presents Thurman as a man with quite a legacy, but one who leaves questions as to how great that legacy may have been. A fighter’s health comes first, though, and if the man can’t make the fight with Tszyu, then he simply can’t make the fight with Tszyu.

Still, the career of Thurman remains one of the great enigma’s of contemporary boxing.

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