Thurman on Non-Title Fight: “Real Boxing People Will Know”

By Will Arons - 02/12/2024 - Comments

Keith Thurman isn’t happy that his fight against Tim Tszyu on March 30th will be without his WBO junior middleweight strap being on the line for him to snatch from him in their twelve-round headliner on Amazon Prime PPV at the T-Mobile Arena in Laa Vegas.

Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) wanted the opportunity to capture his third world title and become a two-division champion by beating the undefeated Tszyu (24-0, 17 KOs)

To feel better about the fight being a non-title clash, Thurman says that a victory over Tszyu will allow him to fight for any of the other belts at 154, and he’s correct.

If he beats Tszyu, he’ll have no problems fighting for the other belts, except those that Jermell Charlo holds hostage.

Missing the Gold, Finding the Drive

“Would it have been nice? We get this W [against Tim Tszyu in a non-title fight], and we don’t receive the proper accolades as a three-time world champion, two-time division champion,” said former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman, complaining to Thaboxingvoice about his fight against Tim Tszyu being without his WBO junior middleweight belt on March 30th in their headliner on Amazon PPV in Las Vegas.

It would be better for Thurman to just focus on trying to win, considering he’s the underdog against Tszyu with the oddsmakers, and he’s very likely to get chopped apart on March 30th.

“Real boxing people will know on March 30th, Keith Thurman defeated the undefeated champion. It still goes down in history. It’s good enough. I’ve had belts. It’ll be nice to be champion again. It’ll be nice to be champion in a new division [154], but that’s what this fight is all about.

The Bigger Picture

“Does Keith Thurman belong at 154? Can he actually establish himself at a world-class level at 154? What’s better than to jump right into the fire against Tim Tszyu? Tim Tszyu wants everyone at 154, he wants all the big fights.

“He’s saying, ‘After Thurman, I want all these big fights.’ The winner of Thurman-Tszyu will have the right to claim any world title match at 154. Eventually, when you have a name, it’s not about a belt anymore. It’s about a name and about status.

“This fight is still a big status fight. It excites me, which allows me to get up and do what I need to do,” said Thurman about his fight with Tszyu.

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