By: Sean Crose
It’s been a long time since Keith Thurman has been in a boxing ring. Then again, the onetime WBA welterweight champ doesn’t box all that frequently as a general rule. Indeed, the Floridian has only fought three times in the last five years. Although he’s faced his share of big names, the last fighter of true note Thurman battled was Manny Pacquiao, and that was back in 2019. Still, Thurman is nothing if not must see TV. When he decides to fight, people take notice. And he’s now decided to fight WBO junior middleweight king Tim Tzyu March 30th in Las Vegas.
Although Tszyu’s title won’t be on the line, the scheduled 12 rounder is going to headline a pay per view event which will also feature WBA junior welterweight titlist Rolly Romero taking on fellow warrior Isaac Cruz. Should the 30-1 Thurman remain the man he used to be, his battle with the undefeated, 24-0 Tszyu should indeed be fascinating. Thurman’s only loss was to the great Manny Pacquiao, after all, and, aside from being knocked down by Pacquiao early on, Thurman put on quite a show that night in his own right. Yes, he lost, but he lost by split decision after fighting impressively.
Should Thurman be rusty this March, however, should he be missing a step, or otherwise showing his age, he may find himself in real trouble. For Tszyu, son of the famous Kostya Tszyu, has thus far had a dynamite career for himself. While he hasn’t been able to get in the ring for a much anticipated fight with Jermell Carlo, Tszyu now has the kind of legitimate, high profile bout he’s been waiting for. At a news conference to kick things off in L.A. Tuesday, each fighter appeared to be the picture of confidence. Thurman was jovial and boisterous while Tszyu seemed unintimidated.
“They don’t call him ‘put bull’ but I want him to go tail tucked, head down back to his daddy in Australia,” Thurman joked. “You bring that energy, man,” Tszyu told him. “I want that energy coming into the fight because when I do – and mark my words I will knock you out in under 12 rounds.” Thurman was ready with a quick retort. “You could try my man,” he replied, “but you’re going to get more than energy, you’re going to get these hands, baby, all up in your face.”
“You’re going to be running and I’m going to be catching you like a little gazelle,” Tszyu sneered. “I did not know flat footed Mexicans were born in Australia,” Thurman quipped. “Mexican Tszyu, what you gonna do?” When Tszyu again brought up his belief that Thurman will want to run, Thurman assured him that he wouldn’t. “I’ll be right there, baby,” he said. “I won’t be hard to find.”
Send this to a friend