WBA World welterweight champion Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KO’s) said he would like an opportunity to prove his worth against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr (48-0, 26 KO’s) in an interview with FightHub
Floyd holds the WBA Super (one up from Thurman’s) and WBC World welterweight titles and is set to make what has long claimed as his final professional career appearance in September.
For that landmark date, he has said he will face either WBA interim welterweight champ Andre Berto or the 140 lb. Karim Mayfield; two choices that undercut a wealth of dangerous talent in his division of which Thurman is certainly a part.
Thurman rates himself highly enough to tear Floyd’s partly self-styled persona as the best fighter in history to shreds if he ever got the chance, and feels that Floyd is fair game as long as he continues to beat his chest.
“The whole world knows what I want. I just want the opportunity to showcase my skills and my talent against the man who is claiming to be ‘TBE’ [The Best Ever], which I’ve stated before is a title one should earn after retirement.”
“He branded himself with that, that was his choice.”
When asked what he would say to Floyd if a chance encounter arose he simply said;
“Do you want to fight? Be honest with me, do you want to fight or do you not want to fight?”
How many missed mega-fights would we have seen if the process to making them were that simple? Unfortunately, business interests that tend to dictate the laws in Pugilistica are much firmer than any one fighter’s desire, so complication will remain.
Despite taking particular issue with Floyd’s insistence that he is the best around, Thurman refuses to gravitate around him like Amir Khan has done over the past few years; literally allowing the possibility of a fight with the ‘Money’ man to steer his career this way and that.
“I’m 26 years old. I’m gonna have my own career. I will have my own career. My career may consist of a Floyd Mayweather fight, but it may not.”
Thurman, alongside IBF champion Kell Brook, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley constitute the wave that will flood the boxing plane once the Mayweather dam cracks.
As long as Floyd is active and continues to conduct himself like a one man institution that gives hand-picked opponents the chance to face him twice a year, these fighters will be held back. They have been held back just by his presence will continue to be as long as he doesn’t take them on.
This is not to lambaste Floyd. His career, resume and achievements are beyond question. It’s just that we are now in the transitionary period in which he is on the way out, and there are plenty of hounds baying at the door and snapping at his heels. He cannot keep meeting their challenge forever, but while he stays put the challenges will be made over and again.