After a shaky start, Keith "One Time" Thurman (21-0, 19 KO) found his rhythm and stopped Argentinian Diego "La Joya" Chaves (22-1) in the 10th round. In the process, Thurman took home the interim WBA welterweight title.
Chaves seemed to give Thurman an issue early with hard power shots, but as Thurman slowed the tempo and used his athleticism, he was able to gain an advantage.
He dropped Chaves in the ninth round with a beautiful left hook to the body. Chaves escaped the round, but didn't look 100 percent. Thurman landed a hard right hand that sent Chaves into the ropes early in the 10th round. One final right hand sent Chaves back to a knee.
He didn't appear to try to beat referee Luis Pabon's count, and Thurman was victorious.
Is Thurman ready for a Top 10 opponent?
In the very crowded and talented welterweight division, Thurman is continually making a name for himself. At just 24 years old, Thurman is one of the brightest young stars in the sport.
He showed more refined boxing skills, slickness, a good chin and mental toughness in this bout. This was, perhaps, the first time Thurman had been tested in his career, and he passed decisively.
There are a plethora of opportunities for Thurman to consider. Perhaps, one of two other Argentinian contenders could be his next opponent. Luis Carlos Abregu is one option as is Marcos Rene Maidana.
Both fighters would represent a solid test for Thurman and present unique challenges. Maidana has more name recognition and explosive power, but Abrego may be the sharper boxer.
Thurman has consistently had positive showings when he's had an opportunity to make a statement on Showtime and HBO. With Al Haymon as his manager, he'll have an in to just about any path to prominence—as long as he keeps winning.
Watching each of Thurman's last 10 fights, his progress is clear. He won't be an easy out for anyone he fights going forward.
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