Keith “One Time” Thurman (24-0-0, 21 KOs) has built a reputation as a guy who knows how to put his opponent down, a fighter with a knockout mentality.
That’s why some hard-to-please fight fans turned their back on him after he technically boxed his way to a unanimous-decision victory over the relatively unknown, 40-year-old Leonard Bundu back in December 2014.
A fight made ugly by Bundu’s awkward style and sense of survival, all three judges did score the bout 120-107 for Thurman.
His performance against Bundu was similar to that of knockout artists Sergey Kovalev’s victory over 50-year-old living legend Bernard Hopkins (who was 49 at the time), just a month earlier.
Only Thurman heard boo’s, while Kovalev was praised for being versatile.
This Saturday, March 7, Thurman takes on Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs) in the toughest fight, and on the biggest stage of his career.
As the A-side of the main event for Al Haymon’s first ever Premier Boxing Champions card, it’s worth arguing that Haymon could be lining Thurman up to be the next big name in the stacked Welterweight division, and possibly even a future opponent for current 147-pound kingpin, Floyd Mayweather Jr.
What Thurman needs to do is showcase a performance that will stick in the minds of the millions of new boxing viewers who will either be tuning into boxing for the first time, or coming back to give the sport another try.
So let’s not only look at three key factors for Keith Thurman to win, but what he needs to do to take a major step towards being one of the sport’s most popular fighters moving forward.