At 3DBoxing we don’t like to brag, especially about things that are terrible for the sport we love. However, back on February, 22, 6 weeks ago, I called that the May 19th Keith Thurman fight was not going to happen. Serious red flags started to arise when tickets never went on sale and no opponent was ever named for a fight that was just six weeks away. We predicted that he would push the fight back to a later summer date and that would be his one and only fight of 2018. As Keith Thurman is a “one time” a year fighter. Either we have some crazy Nostradamus type of ability, or something else is really going on.
Truth be told Keith Thurman never had any plans of fighting on May 19th. A name never popped up, he simply ruled out names like Errol Spence, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Jesse Vargas to his own surprise who thought he had a done deal with Thurman at Barclay’s on April 14th. Thurman also ruled out any and all “top 10 fighters in the welterweight division”. Keith Thurman said back in October to the WBC that he was going to be back in January and fight three times in 2018. January became late Feb/early March, which became Jesse Vargas signed, sealed and delivered on April 14th in Brooklyn, which became a May 19th opponent against no known opponent. With just six weeks to go before the fight and no tickets on sale and no opponent, it was clear as day that “Run Time” never had any intention of fighting anyone. “Once Upon a Time” Thurman said he was going to fight three times in 2018, then said he was a twice a year fighter and now it’s obvious he is only going to fight once this year.
The WBA and WBC haven’t stripped Thurman of his 147 lb. titles. But they need to. Keith Thurman last fought in March of 2017 and before that fought just once in 2016 against Shawn Porter and he took a year layoff prior to the Porter fight. We are approaching two years with Keith Thurman fighting Just “One Time”. He has no plans on unifying with Spence, “that’s not discussable” he has no plans on fighting Garcia or Porter again, that’s out. He doesn’t really fight at all. He has two belts in boxings most popular and glamorous division. Lots of guys that want to fight for the titles and fight each other. They can give fight fans a lot of good action and excellent fights to mark on their calendars. As opposed to what Keith Thurman is doing which is holding hostage half of the 147-pound straps. No reason to hold the sports hostage. Keifey Poo, you won both of those belts fair and square, no doubt! No one can ever take that away from you. However, with one fight in almost two years, there’s no reason to hold those straps hostage. Go ahead and call it quits. You have no interest in boxing, the sanctioning bodies should strip those titles, which Thurman isn’t going to defend.
Thurman was scheduled to fight in late May, both Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, two fighters Thurman is afraid of, are scheduled to fight in June. It got too real for Thurman as it would line up perfectly for him to fight either of those two guys who would most likely have the other two straps at 147. So, Keith Thurman simply pushed his fight back. The WBC and WBA clearly want Keith Thurman to hold their straps as long as possible because they think big money fights are on the horizon. They aren’t, and there are bigger money fights to be made without Keith for both the WBA and WBC. Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter are both mandated to fight for the WBC strap. Very easy solution, strip Keifey Poo of his green belt and let Garcia and Porter battle it out for that belt. Lucas Matthysse has a version of the WBA welterweight strap and a July 8th date to fight Manny Pacquiao, who is ranked #2 by the organization (Danny Garcia who would be fighting for the WBC is ranked #1) make that fight for the vacant strap you just stripped Thurman of. Each organization gets a bigger more profitable fight if you take Keith Thurman out of the equation. The sport is actually better and more lucrative for everyone with Keith Thurman out of the picture.
Keith Thurman has become the Derrick Rose of professional boxing. At the age of 22, Chicago Bull superstar point guard wasn’t just a two-time All-Star, he also won the MVP of the league. In a league that had names like Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant all in their primes, the leagues MVP was 22-year-old D-Rose. He was on top of the basketball world. That was in 2011, since then Rose has had major problems with motivation, some highly questionable injuries, and overall inactivity. Not getting on the court has taken its toll on him. Since 2011 Rose has played just 251 games over the past 7 years, that’s about 35 games per year in the absolute prime years of his career. He, in essence, wasted away his prime. Does this sound familiar? This is an almost exactly what Keith Thurman is doing. He accomplished some really great things, compiled a great record and resume and has since lost all motivation and avoided work like the plague. What a difference a year makes, back 12 months ago Keith Thurman was on top of the world he had just defeated Danny Garcia in front of 5 million viewers and made a career-high purse in a career-best win unifying the WBA/WBC welterweight straps. 12 months later, Keith “Run Time” Thurman has become a punch line.