Undefeated WBA World welterweight champion Keith Thurman (26-0, 22 KO’s) stopped Luis Collazo in July as the former welterweight titlist retired on his stool at the conclusion of the seventh round due to a cut that was impairing his vision.
For the past eight months or so, Thurman has had plenty of criticism for former light-welterweight titlist Amir Khan, who he has described as the most overrated fighter at 147-pounds.
Khan, who also fought Collazo a year ago, knocking him down three times en-route to a unanimous decision victory, wasn’t impressed with Thurman’s performance and suggested a nickname change.
“He calls himself ‘One Time,’ but he can’t do it. I think he needs to change his name to ‘Sometimes’”.
Thurman, known for his quick responses, showed his colors.
“Three knockdowns without a stoppage, let’s announce that,” Thurman said. “I am 26-0 with 22 knockouts, right? I guess maybe I am ‘Sometimes,’ right? I guess I am ‘Sometimes.’
“Amir, how many knockouts do you have? I guess we should call you ‘One Time’ because that’s probably how many knockouts you got is one, so it is what it is.”
Thurman was partially criticized for his performance because at times he didn’t engage Collazo and danced circles around him. However, the Clearwater, Florida native explains that he executed that strategy to “piss” Collazo off due to the way he was fighting him in the earlier rounds.
“I moved forward for the first two rounds. The first two rounds when Collazo was moving backwards being conservative, it really looked like he didn’t even show up to fight. Let’s be real,” said Thurman.
“In the third round, Collazo finally wanted to start fighting. I was like, ‘Cool, I’ve been waiting for you to do this, but just to piss you off because you want to run away from me, I’m gonna run away from you! I can play this game, too.’”
Thurman describes himself as a Yinyang fighter, which in Chinese culture, represent two opposite principles in nature. When your adversary is aggressive, you’re passive. When your adversary is passive, you’re aggressive. When both fighters are aggressive, that is when we get wars.
“I have my style, you [Khan] have your style. You want to talk the talk? Let’s walk the walk. Meet me in the ring,” he added.
With both fighters signed with Al Haymon, you would think that the fight would be easy to make, but that hasn’t been the case, with Thurman going as far to say that he wanted Khan in March and not Robert Guerrero.
“It’d be real easy to make the fight happen. I’m not Floyd Mayweather. You don’t have to keep running your mouth to not get a fight. All you have to do is call up Al Haymon and demand for the fight.
“Do you even know that I’ve already asked for you? I wanted you, not Guerrero. Do you know that?” Thurman questioned.
Thurman pushed for the fight earlier in the year as he stated, but Khan opted to fight Chris Algieri instead, who was coming off a lopsided defeat to Manny Pacquiao last November.
“We can throw blows later on this year – if he wants to make it happen – I’m ready to make it happen. I don’t need to talk no smack. I’m ready to fight.
Since moving up to the welterweight division, Khan has yet to face a big puncher. He has racked up victories against Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander, and Chris Algieri.
The last time he faced a solid puncher in Danny Garcia, he was caught by a counter left hook and stopped in 2012. Thurman, noting this, was very critical of Khan’s standing as a welterweight.
“I said it years ago. Amir Khan has no business being in the welterweight division. If he wants to prove himself as a welterweight – come see me – come through me! Come take my 0! Show the world that you are a legitimate welterweight.”