Two for the Money: Galarza and Thurman

By Ted Sares - A fighter is a fighter. Just because he (Omar Bell) hasn't been beat yet, doesn't mean he's gonna beat me. - Keith Thurman

Two very exciting and promising welterweights to keep your eyes on are Floridian Keith Thurman (Tampa) and Kenny Galarza of Puerto Rico (Ponce)..

Thurman - This bomber is 7-0 with seven knockouts and most recently iced ex-champion O’Neal Bell's brother, undefeated Omar Bell, in less than one minute of round one in a Starfight Promotions fight in Tampa (promoters Aaron Jacobs, Pete Fernandez and Shay Bailey). Keith almost made this year’s Olympic Team, and turned pro when he didn't get selected. He is trained by well-known Dan Birmingham, trainer of Winky Wright and Jeff Lacy.

While Bell had noticeably superior height and reach on Thurman, the Tampa fighter eventually reached him with a monster left hook and followed it with a crunching right that rang Omar’s bell and left him on the canvas for five minutes. He was taken to a nearby hospital for precautionary measures and thankfully was released later in the night.

Each of Keith’s icings has been via a one round affair. Though he had a solid amateur background, he still needs to get some pro rounds under his belt. But there is something about a guy who fights another undefeated fighter in his seventh outing that you have to like. As well, Thurman iced Jason Jordan (6-22-3) in his sixth bout and Jordan is a guy who went the distance twice with the very capable “The New” Ray Robinson.

Thurman won the Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials in Houston. His only losses at the trials were to eventual U.S. Olympic team member Demetrius Andrade. The Olympic Trials capped off a decorated amateur career for Keith which included winning the PAL National Championships in 2006. He is known among savvy boxing fans as a devastating puncher and one of the best prospects to come out of the amateur ranks this year.

Bottom line: When you watch this kid go at it, don’t blink.


The lesser known Kenny Galarza also is heavy handed sporting a 7-0 slate with seven knockouts. He has 14 rounds under his belt in seven fights. On August 13 (and on the Joel Julio-Jose Varela under card), Galarza took out Devarise Crayton (5-4) with a left hook that had a dramatic delayed reaction, sending Crayton backwards and then reducing his legs to jello before he collapsed in a heap and was immediately declared a TKO victim. The time was 2:57 of the second stanza. The fight was televised from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida where six of Kenney’s seven fights have been held and showcased his workmanlike skills and explosive power.

Kenny may not be the next Juan Manuel Lopez, but he IS someone to keep your eyes on. He clearly knows his way around the ring, possesses a lethal left hook, and is of the “stalk stun and close” breed of fighter. He now needs to step up to a higher level of opposition.

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Article posted on 18.08.2008

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