Keith Thurman, the current unified WBA and WBC Welterweight World Champion, was a guest of the Philadelphia Phillies prior to their Tampa Bay Rays game in Clearwater, FL yesterday. Thurman spoke to the team prior to the game about his philosophy in boxing, and shared his personal success story of learning how to box in the Clearwater Parks and Recreation program to now being the unified welterweight champion. The Phillies beat the Rays, 6-3.
Thurman was invited to speak to the team by Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler, who heard Thurman speak at the Clearwater for Youth awards banquet where Keith received the “Champion for Youth” award. It was after that speech that the two discussed Thurman coming to talk to the team before a game, and sharing his story and mission for his athletic career. Thurman also threw out the first pitch along with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
In speaking with the team Thurman described what his nickname “One Time” truly means. He said, “You only get this one time. When I was nicknamed ‘One Time’ it was because one time was all it took, but actually the meaning is deeper than that. It’s not about a devastating hook or a body shot. It’s about this moment. Every time you go into the ring – and for you it’s going out onto that field – this is the one time, the one moment that will never happen again. This moment is your one time to make a difference, to fight, to win. This moment will never be here again so you need to take advantage of this one time.”
In comparing boxing to baseball, Thurman stressed that you can accomplish anything with focus. “The fight is not over till you say it’s over.”
Thurman trains out of St. Petersburg, FL with trainer Dan Birmingham, Chris Getty and Eric Wilson and is due back in the ring May 19 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.