WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) showed the boxing world that he is no fluke on 7 March in beating Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in a dominating 12-round unanimous decision victory at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The victory has some boxing fans contemplating whether “One Time” has the package to take down some of boxing’s elite, including Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. Former two-division world champion Paul Malignaggi is one of those that claimed that Thurman could beat both pound-for-pound legends before the Thurman-Guerrero fight. Does he still think the same way?
FightHype.com and Luis Sandoval caught up with the former champion to see where he stands.
“He showed some flaws, but at the same time he’s still a dynamite offensive fighter. He can sharp-shoot when he wants to, he’s got fast reflexes, he’s fast, he’s sharp with his offense, he hits hard; he’s a dangerous guy, I think he’s dangerous for Floyd (Mayweather) and Pacquiao (Manny Pacquiao),” said Malignaggi.
The bouts marked the first prime-time appearance of championship boxing on NBC since 1985. When asked if the debut of Premier Boxing Champions gave him more of an urge to fight again, Malignaggi couldn’t hold it in.
“Yeah, it kind of does,” said Malignaggi laughing and smiling. Malignaggi added that he was very dazzled by the light setup, and even that made him want to get back into the ring again. The topic of Keith Thurman came back up once more. With the pulchritudinous performance he put on Saturday; Malignaggi adds that Thurman has earned a spot at the upper echelon and deserves a shot with one of the top guys, whoever that may be.
“I think Thurman deserves a shot at anybody. Whether they give it to him or not is a different thing. Again, Keith is very dangerous. He’s a high-risk, and I don’t know if he’s enough reward. But, we’ll see. I think a win over a very name opponent like Guerrero at least raises his stock.”
Malignaggi, though, does not know what opponent would make more sense for Keith Thurman in his next bout but wouldn’t mind him, again, fighting some of the top fighters in the welterweight division.
“I don’t know. I’d love a fight against Khan (Amir Khan) or Brook (Kell Brook). I wouldn’t mind seeing him against Mayweather or Pacquiao. The welterweight division is stacked with talent. I think that Keith is going to be in exciting fights either way.”