By Eric Duran
WBA Welterweight Champion Keith Thurman Jr. sat down with media outlets from around the country at a media luncheon just hours before Shawn Porter defeated Adrian Broner. The likable Thurman spoke on numerous topics that included, Amir Khan, fighting in his hometown of Tampa and hid first coach, Ben Getty.
Thurman is in preparations for his upcoming fight against Luis Collazo on July 11th in Tampa, Fla. In his last performance, Thurman defeated Robert Guerrero in a thrilling 12 round unanimous decision.
Boxinginsider.com: First off, what are your feelings about fighting in your hometown of Tampa?
Keith Thurman: Being a champ and fighting in your hometown, is a dream come true. I remember watching Winky Wright, Jeff Lacy and Antonio Tarver fighting in Tampa.
Boxinginsider.com: Amir Khan has been in the news lately regarding a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather. What are your thoughts about that fight?
Keith Thurman: First off, Kell Brook deserves the opportunity before Khan. I think Khan can win some rounds. Floyd is a very conditioned, strategic fighter. Khan became very hittable after about 4 rounds against Algirie and I think Floyd will adjust and beat him easily.
Boxinginsider.com: Speaking of Khan, he and his trainer have recently spoken about a future match-up with you. What are your thoughts about a matchup with Khan?
Keith Thurman: I think it’s a mistake for him to be in the 147lb division, he should have chased a rematch with Garcia at 140lbs. I want that fight, I don’t think he has the chin but he does have the legs to run backwards. He has great hand speed and I would like to see it up close. I would change angels on him, give him different styles inside the ring. What’s funny is he didn’t mention me after the Algirie fight during the post-fight interview but now my name is both of their mouths. I’ll knock both of them out.
Boxinginsider.com: What’s your relationship like with Dan Birmingham?
Keith Thurman: Dan started working with me at age 15 as just my mitt man. My first coach, Ben Getty, could no longer holds the mitts for me because of my punching power. He didn’t always show up to my amateur fights because of his commitments to his pro fighters. I remember him bringing me into those camps as an amateur. At age 20, Coach Getty passed away and I knew right away that Dan was my man. I was being managed by Shelly Finkle at the time and he wanted to move me to Los Angeles to work with Freddie Roach. I stayed because Freddie didn’t know who Keith Thurman was, Dan did.
Boxinginsider.com: Can you speak a little bit on your first coach, Ben Getty?
Keith Thurman: I remember Ben, when we would go around to the all the gyms and spar, he would always tell everyone that I was going to be a world champion one day. Ben didn’t show up to the gym one day. He had been talking about this particular day for a while now, he was excited for it. When his family finally found him, he was unconscious. Ben was diabetic but he didn’t want to go to the doctors. His family found him dead on the couch the next day with his dog next to his side. I remember when I received the news; I remember walking to the park that I had grown up since age 7. I walked to the lake and said goodbye to Ben.