Keith "One Time" Thurman in This Corner

Joe BrownCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2010

With 12 professional fights and victories and all but one coming by knockout, usually in the first round, one young fighter is making his way up the Welterweight division.


That’s the career record of one of the most explosive fighters, in any division, only astute followers of Boxing have heard of.


His name is Keith Thurman.


Thurman, a 21-year-old welterweight from Clearwater, Fla is one of the most electrifying—albeit unknown—factors in a sport still desperate to win fans back.


Perhaps 12 fights is too small a sample size to start paying this much attention to him. Or maybe, he’s been extremely lucky to fight real-life fighters with game-like jaws of Mike Tyson’s Punch Out , “Glass Joe,” or “Don Flamenco,” 10 times in a row?


Winning a silver medal and destroying anything in his path as both an amateur and early into his professional career prove otherwise.


Before he officially turned pro, Thurman had an unbelievable amateur career, including:


  • 76 of his 101 victories by KO
  • Six National Titles
  • PAL National Championship (2006)


Since turning pro Thurman’s record is:


  • 12 – 0
  • 11 by KO
  • First eight fights ended in Round One (KO or TKO)


Thurman’s still flying under the radar, but his next fight is a March 27, 2010 bout in Las Vegas on the undercard for an HBO-televised event. The match might help his name-recognition.


One U.S. Boxing ranking had him as high as No. 9/288 in the active welterweight division led by Floyd Mayweather Jr. But, in the World Rankings he’s 47/1466 with the top spot held by Manny Pacquiao.


The way that Thurman fights reminds me of a raging Mike Tyson in his prime. Stalking his opponents, the former Silver Medal 2008 Olympic Team Trials winner, needs less than a second of daylight and its lights out.  


Most fighters naturally use their non-dominant hand (i.e. Right-handed or Left-handed) to jab and their dominant hand to throw hooks or roundhouses. Thurman really doesn’t mind if his opponent tries to take away either hand—he’s made his opponents’ trainers bring out the smelling salts with both hands.


Thurman signed with the Tampa-area boxing promotional team of Starfight Productions, Inc., and hopes to begin landing television fights soon.


With all this rage and ferocity in the ring, surely he must tow the same lines of sanity as Mike Tyson, what with his style being “impetuous,” “impregnable,” or “just ferocious” enough to eat his foe’s “hearts” or “their children.”


Fortunately, for fans of boxing and ears of boxers, Thurman is seen as an extremely mature young man who takes great pride in his ability to serve as a role model to young fighters in Tampa Bay.


You won’t find Keith Thurman on many—if any at all—top rankings in the Welterweight division. He’s the perfect fighter to help reignite stagnant PPV fights that have lacked some serious firepower in recent memory.


His trainer, Ben Getty, had this to say during a previous interview, “Since he's been seven years old he's been knocking people out. I've been in camps over the last 20 years with guys like Mugabi and Hearns, and never seen anybody punch as hard as Keith, anybody. There isn't anybody today at 147 that punches as hard as Keith. Once we get on TV and he knocks somebody out, the whole world is gonna know about Keith.”

The welterweight division has long been one of the more exciting in boxing. At this point, I would pay to see Thurman take on fellow American welterweight, Paul Williams.


Regardless, it’s only a matter of time before Keith “One Time” Thurman is a household name in the boxing community.