“FLOYD MAYWEATHER, Floyd Mayweather, Floyd Mayweather.”
Keith Thurman had just been asked who he wants to fight next year.
Then he is asked whether Floyd would really fight him.
“I think so. If he really believes he is TBE [The Best Ever]. Why not? We want Mayweather in the mix because only God knows if he’s going to perform after his Showtime contract. Will it be one more performance, two more performances, we don’t know. It’s up to him. But a lot of people believe setting up the Showtime contract was a little bit of the road to retirement. If you can’t retire on that amount of money I don’t know how you will ever be able to retire. So Floyd is in the mix but beside that we would like to fight the best. You could grab the top 10 and work your way up, I don’t really care. But I believe that in 2015 it’s time we started fighting some of the top fighters in the welterweight division. That includes Marcos Maidana, Amir Khan, Devon Alexander, I would still love to get my hands on Robert Guerrero and there’s others that can be made but hopefully I can be in some of the most exciting fights of 2015.”
“Fight Marcos Maidana, one time. Do it right the first time. And then I believe the fans would be demanding the fight,” he said, in reference to the man Mayweather had two struggles with. Maidana had been in the frame to fight Thurman before, and the American reckons they would have to throw the chequebook at the Argentine to get him in the ring.
“Whatever he was offered then compared to what he would be offered now would be substantially different, especially after my performance this Saturday night,” he said.
“I’m really a young fighter who is happy where he is in the sport of boxing and I’m looking forward to evolving as a fighter. I’m not afraid to lose, I’m not afraid to win-some, lose-some and grow because when someone beats you and you get upset you get to look at yourself and reflect, you know. Me and my team, we’ve been patting ourselves on the back for years and just like Floyd, who knows, I might be able to go a long time undefeated. I might never reflect on the things I do wrong in the ring if a fighter can’t capitalise on my mistakes, everyone makes mistakes. But it’s the other fighter’s job to capitalise on them.”
He does, however, understand that Amir Khan is probably ahead of him in the Mayweather queue.
“That’s politics,” he went on. “At the end of the day, Amir is fighting here at the MGM so he’s showcasing his talents to Vegas. Sky TV is here, I’m pretty sure they already have fans coming over before the holidays to cheer him on. If Mayweather fights Amir Khan, that’s going to entice more people from the UK and over Europe to buy that plane ticket to come over to Vegas. They’re big sports fans, they like showing their support and that’s the difference between Floyd fighting me immediately in 2015 and him fighting someone like Amir Khan. We’re both his mandatories. He’s mandatory for the WBC title, I’m mandatory for the WBA title but with Khan bringing fans over from the UK financially it’s a better decision and I understand why Floyd would look at that option.”
He also thinks Khan would present Floyd with a unique set of problems to solve.
“Anyone who has boxing knowledge can pose something of a threat because Mayweather has had an easy time against everybody that moves straightforward and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen someone who has footwork and handspeed against Mayweather,” he explained. “I would not oppose the match-up against Amir Khan only because it’s a different look, you’re going to have to see a different Mayweather. We saw a little bit of a different Mayweather when he fought Canelo, and everyone was impressed by that performance. But it took a fighter like Canelo to bring a performance like that out of Mayweather. Against Amir Khan, he would be giving up height and reach advantage and he might have done that with Canelo, but Canelo didn’t have the speed to compete with him and Amir Khan would have the speed. He would be able to jab with him and he would be able to throw combinations. Although Floyd can still read punches very well it would be a slightly different look and an interesting fight.”
Of course, Thurman-Bundu is the co-feature to Khan-Alexander. Thurman doesn’t mind playing second fiddle for now, and finds it hard to pick a winner between his two potential foes.
“It’s interesting because we would title them [Khan and Alexander] both as boxers, right? So how do you imagine two boxers fighting each other? I don’t see a lot of action. So what matters is which boxer wants to be the fighter on Saturday night and I believe that whoever comes to fight on Saturday night will be the winner.”