Modern day fight fans know there is a lot more to it that mere fighting prowess when it comes to being able to unify a weight class. These days, with fighters performing on rival networks for rival promoters, the actual getting of a big fight can prove more troublesome and stressful than the actual in the ring fighting (well, not quite, but you get the idea). Simply put, it is much easier these days for fighter A to duck fighter B, and just put the failure to make the fight down to boxing politics.
There are some fighters, Gennady Golovkin, for example, who genuinely want to unify their respective weight class, and are doing all they can to make it happen. But its not easy. Keith Thurman, for many the pick for the best welterweight in the world today at a time when the division is crammed with talent, is another such fighter. Thurman holds the WBA welterweight belt, he is ranked as the number-one guy in the division by most every publication/website, and he is undefeated. But can Thurman unify the titles?
He sure wants to.
“Unification is what’s really on my mind,” Thurman said as quoted by The News Hub. “I do believe me and Shawn Porter is a great fight in the future. I’m pro rematch, I’m pro everything and I’m pro fight world.”
Thurman and Porter put on a truly great fight this June, and that one may well happen again, but does Thurman have the beating of the other welterweight champs? Danny Garcia is the WBC ruler, Jessie Vargas holds the WBO belt, while Kell Brook still holds the IBF title (though Brook is unlikely to decide to fight back down at 147 again following his bulking up to 160 for his unsuccessful shot at GGG, in which case IBF mandatory Errol Spence Jr will face a TBA for the vacant belt ). Again, it will likely prove tough, very tough, making these fights, but if they did get made, would Thurman be able to win them?
Thurman does seem to be a pretty special fighter. Blessed with skill, power, durability, speed, a fine chin and, most importantly, the desire to become a great, “One Time” would likely enter either of these possible match-ups as the betting favourite to win (although the odds would certainly be close, in the case of the Spence Jr fight especially; Spence being an ulra-talented fighter).
Thurman wants the fights, the fans sure do and there really is no reason for them not to happen. This of course does not mean the fights WILL happen. If only boxing was a simple as it used to be, one day; way, way, way back. Imagine the excitement and value for money boxing fans would get if they got to see Thurman rumble (something he likes to do) with superb fighters such as Garcia, Vargas and Spence Jr! This is what the sport is about and, refreshingly, it’s what Thurman is about.
Let’s just hope he gets the fights he needs, and wants, to prove his greatness.