By Rob Smith: Golden Boy Promotions is looking to match former WBA light welterweight champion Marcos Maidana (32-3, 29 KO’s) up with junior middleweight Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KO’s) in April next year. Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer wants to put the Maidana-Thurman fight with unbeaten featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (21-0, 13 KO’s) against a still to be determined opponent in a doubleheader card. They wanted Jhonny Gonzalez, but that was a no go after he showed no interest in the fight. Russell Jr. is a good fighter and if they can find a quality opponent to put him in with then they’ll have a decent card.
You have to wonder why Golden Boy is looking to match Maidana, an exciting crowd-pleasing fighter, in with a big junior middleweight like the young Keith Thurman. Maidana hasn’t even established that he belongs at welterweight, and then here Golden Boy is going to put him in with a big 5’11” junior middleweight like Thurman. It’s not that Maidana doesn’t have the power to give Thurman huge headaches in this fight, but the size difference in the two fighters makes you wonder.
You know Golden Boy is really high on Thurman and they obviously don’t want to see him lose. For that reason this fight just seems like Maidana is kind of being used as a stepping stone for Thurman. That’s seems like a waste of Maidana, because he’s good enough to beat the likes of WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi, if Golden Boy were to let Maidana fight him. But to put him in with a big junior middleweight like Thurman, it just looks like Golden Boy is cashing out on Maidana rather than putting him in line for a title shot against Malignaggi.
You can’t really put Maidana back in with IBF champion Devon Alexander again because he was so easily beaten by him earlier this year, but Malignaggi definitely is a fighter that Maidana could beat, and so is WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley.
Those are the fighters that Golden Boy should be aiming Maidana for, not Thurman. That seems like a waste of Maidana. Let Thurman fight junior middleweights like he should be doing. Golden Boy also promotes WBC junior middleweight champion Saul Alvarez, and with him they’ve also matched him against a lot of fighters from lower weight classes then the ones he’s fighting in. Maidana appears to be in that position where he’s the smaller guy for Thurman.