On the highly anticipated debut of Al Haymon’s solo venture on March 7, 2015, Keith “One Time” Thurman (24-0-0, 21 KOs) takes on the greatest challenge of his career so far, when he squares off against the former four-weight world champion, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-2-1, 18 KOs).
The fresh faced Thurman has been a revelation in the Welterweight division, slicing through his past 24 opponents like a hot knife through butter. However, The Ghost presents One Time with a significantly tougher equation to what he has faced before, which will prove whether Thurman is in fact the next ruler at the 147 pound limit or simply a false prophet.
It was only three years ago when Robert Guerrero was at the pinnacle of his profession, claiming the richest prize in boxing, a showdown with pound-for-pound king, Floyd Mayweather.
Yet, on the biggest stage of all, Guerrero froze, which unfortunately led to a serious schooling at the hands of the self-proclaimed “Best Ever.” With no option but to attempt to rebuild his status at the summit of the sport, the 31 year old did not take a routine confidence builder in his next fight. He took part in an absolute war with the Japanese slugger Yoshihiro Kamegai in a potential fight of the year candidate in 2014.
Even though Guerrero got the decision in that barnstormer, many agreed that the Californian looked sluggish and a shadow of his former self.
This inevitably raises the question, is Guerrero’s career heading in a downward spiral with an important shootout with the raising Thurman edging closer? The stakes couldn’t be much higher for The Ghost.
The man known as One Time is a breath of fresh air in the sport. He can be quite controversial at times, but he is a man who seems destined to be heard. Apart from Thurman’s last outing against the rugged Frenchman, Lenard Bundu, almost all of his previous 23 bouts have showcased his vast potential to go on to do great things in the sport of boxing.
The most feared asset in Thurman’s arsenal is definitely his power. With 21 knockouts already on his resume, he has proved that in no uncertain terms can it be over exaggerated.
Without a doubt, the interim WBA Welterweight champion is confident that he not only talks the talk, but walks the walk as well. Thurman is not afraid to tell the boxing world how unbeatable he really is and so far, he has backed up his promises with countless flawless performances. Although, with his bout with Guerrero on the horizon, one would wonder, does Thurman have an unknown flaw that may be exposed against a still dangerous Guerrero?
Undeniably, Haymon’s first endeavor into the world of network television is a fascinating one, and with the many fighters he is associated with, the potential for many more scintillating matchups is infinite. A real spectacle on March 7 is expected and I could not agree more, as both men are the gatekeepers for one another’s future.
Keith Thurman’s future as an elite fighter will come down to this moment, as a win would surely catapult him to the summit of the iconic weight category, while a loss would mean he would have to regrettably regroup.
As for Guerrero, his situation is noticeably more important. The 26-year-old Thurman holds the key for what would propel the former four-weight world champion back to the peak of his powers he was at a mere three years ago. On the other hand, a loss for Guerrero would be devastating. A defeat would certainly leave a dark cloud hovering over his future at the top level.
Thurman will likely take the spoils in this battle, which would mean Guerrero’s days at the top of the table would be considerably numbered. Nevertheless, as one fighter slips further down the Welterweight ladder, boxing will say hello to a new Welterweight star that will incontestably aim for supremacy in the years to come.