Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater's Keith Thurman gets showcase fight on Showtime

Clearwater native Keith Thurman sought a title fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Clearwater native Keith Thurman sought a title fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

It wasn't so crazy to imagine Keith Thurman getting in on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. sweepstakes or landing a million-dollar fight against a million-dollar fighter. Not as he was putting the finishing touches on the most artistic of his 22 victories, as Jesus Soto Karass fell back into the waiting arms of referee Jon Schorle after one last right to the temple and a left uppercut to his mug in December.

It wasn't crazy at all.

Nor was it meant to be yet.

But the Clearwater native's consolation prize is headliner status tonight when he takes on dangerous veteran Julio Diaz at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., in a bout that will be broadcast on Showtime.

Thurman (22-0, 20 knockouts) returns to his quest to land his first major title fight, defending an interim WBA welterweight title he has held for almost a year.

"There's definitely a political game going on right now,'' Thurman said. "There's a lot of fighters to choose from in the welterweight division. It looks like they've put me on hold."

Though getting a fight with Mayweather was a long shot, Thurman's other targets fell through.

Shawn Porter, the IBF champ, declined a fight, preferring to let a meeting between the division's top two young stars percolate into big bucks. Porter instead scored a technical knockout victory against Paulie Malignaggi.

WBA champion Marcos Maidana, whom Thurman almost fought last year, won the Mayweather sweepstakes. Mayweather will fight Maidana on May 3 to unify the WBC and WBA welterweight titles.

Sweepstakes runnerup Amir Khan decided on 33-year-old Luis Collazo. The guy Maidana beat for the WBA title, Adrien Broner, signed up to fight Carlos Molina, who lost his last fight to Khan.

Patience waning, Thurman hangs around the edges.

"I'm definitely in the mix, even if I'm in the background,'' he said. "Keith Thurman has arrived to the party, even if nobody wants to talk to me."

Once the crowded welterweight ring was cleared, Thurman was left with Diaz, a solid 34-year-old and former lightweight title holder who has competitive decisions to Porter and Khan his last two times out but remains dangerous. In 2012, when Diaz fought Porter for the first time, he scored a draw. Many thought Diaz won.

"It's a great fight; I'm looking forward to it, and I plan on outclassing the veteran,'' said Thurman, who continues to unveil facets to his game.

"I'm 25 years old. I wouldn't say I'm coming into my prime, but we're edging towards it. You can see it."

John C. Cotey can be reached at cotey@tampabay.com.

Boxing tripleheader

When/where: 9 tonight, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif.

Who: WBA welterweight world champion Keith Thurman vs. Julio Diaz in main event; Lucas Matthysse vs. John Molina Jr.; WBC lightweight champion Omar Figueroa Jr. vs. Jerry Belmontes.

TV: Showtime

Clearwater's Keith Thurman gets showcase fight on Showtime 04/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 9:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH

    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.