Keith Thurman couldn’t get the big money fight he wanted, so he’ll be facing WBA ‘regular’ welterweight champion Eimantas Stanionis on December 9th on Showtime PPV in Las Vegas.
The co-feature will have Danny Garcia fighting for a world title against WBA ‘regular’ middleweight champion Erislandy Lara.
Thurman has largely been missing in action through much of the past six years since 2017, and it’s hard to believe that this guy was viewed by many fans as the #1 welterweight in the division back them.
Thurman frittered his talent and popularity away by fighting only rarely since 2017, seeing action just three times against these fighters:
- Mario Barrios – February 2022
- Manny Pacquiao – July 2019
- Josesito Lopez – January 2019
Some curious fans will purchase the card, but not enough for this to be a success. Showtime’s decision to stage the Thurman-Stanionis & Garcia-Lara event on the same night as the Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis event on DAZN PPV sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
It’s too late for Thurman, Garcia & Lara to attract an audience with all of them on the same card. It looks like an appeal to the older fans from another generation. What they should have done is package some of those fighters with younger talents who would appeal to a younger, broader audience.
Boxing fans will choose the Haney-Prograis event over the old timer’s card on Showtime as a no-brainer. Thurman, 35-year-old Danny Garcia, and 40-year-old Erislandy Lara are no longer as popular as they once were, primarily due to inactivity.
This is the best Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) could get after waiting for a year and a half for a big-money fight against Errol Spence Jr. or Terence Crawford.
Thurman never stood a chance of getting a fight with Spence because he was paying him back for not giving him a shot when he was interested in facing him earlier in his career in 2016 & 2017.
If Thurman had stayed active with his career, Crawford probably would have fought him long ago.
The 28-year-old Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) is the wrong guy for the 35-year-old former WBA & WBC welterweight champion ‘One Time’ Thurman to be fighting after another long layoff. If this fight had occurred during Thurman’s prime years between 2015 & 2017, you’d have to favor him over Stanionis, but not now.
This is going to be a really rough fight for Thurman because Stanionis can punch, and he’s not a flawed guy like Mario Barrios. He’s going to pressure Thurman and break him down like Pacquiao did.