‌Fed Up With Inactivity Talk Keith Thurman Ready To Put On A Show Against Tim Tszyu‌

‌Thurman jumps straight into the deep end against Tim Tszyu in his debut at 154 pounds.‌

<p>Keith Thurman moves up to junior middleweight to face Tim Tszyu on PBC Amazon Prime PPV. PBC.</p>

No one is more fed up with Keith Thurman’s absence from boxing as Keith Thurman is. The last time “One Time” competed was in February 2022 when he won a unanimous decision win over Mario Barrios. 


Well, the wait is over and on March 30th, Thurman will headline PBC’s debut on Amazon Prime PPV. Thurman will be moving up to 154 pounds to face the undefeated (24-0 with 17 knockouts) Tim Tszyu. The once defeated Thurman (30-1 with 22 knockouts) looks to reintroduce himself to the boxing world in spectacular fashion. 


A very motivated Thurman hopes to silence the many critics who have questioned his desire and hunger for the sport. Thurman had a lot to say during a recent conversation with Percy Crawford. 


Keith Thurman comments on his 2-year layoff. 

There is no such thing as a layoff as long as you’re still in the gym. Ya’ll call it a layoff because you don’t see me on TV. That’s all it is. Thurman has not performed under the lights. I felt that in the Mario Barrios fight. 


When I stepped in that ring and I looked around that arena, I had to admit to myself, “Hey man, it’s been a minute.” It only took a few seconds, and I was like, “You know what to do, Pimp. You trained for this, lets have fun.” When I’m confident, which you know, I don’t ever not have confidence. When have you seen ya boy “One Time” not having confidence. When I have confidence, I know this sport. I’ve lived this sport. You watch this, I live this, so stop, please. On God, stop! Blood, sweat, and tears bring joy to my ears. Ya’ll don’t understand, that’s the problem, and I forgive you for that. I forgive you for your lack of understanding. 


Where does the question come from, it comes from wonderment, it comes from, I don’t know. Inactivity is not seeing me perform in the ring. I was in and out of the gym all last year because I was expecting fights all last year. Out of all of my ups and downs and struggles, last year was a real challenging year. I was anticipating something. 


We ended up rolling through all 12 months and now in 2024 and now the stars have aligned and they brought forth Amazon Prime, Tim Tszyu on Pay Per View, and you already know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna perform. Keith Thurman is going to put on a world-class performance like I’ve done in the past, like I’m gonna do now, and I’m going to continue to do in the future. I’m dedicated to the game. I have been dedicated to boxing since I walked into the gym at 7-years-old. 


They talk about rust, guess what, you bring out that WD-40, you scrub hard enough, you can get that stuff off you, baby. Those are just terminologies for inactivity and if that inactivity is going to lead to a lackluster performance. That’s what ring rust means. People that say it, they don’t know what they’re talking about. They just say it because everybody else says it. “He’s been out of the ring, so he gotta be rusty.” 


You don’t gotta be rusty, it’s up to the fighter as an individual with their preparation and how they perform. I had a year where I was taking care of myself, now we’re fully committed. I feel confident, there should be no ring rust and it should be a tremendous fight. 


Inactivity frustrating or motivating.

It doesn’t motivate you. One reason why I’m a boxer, I played football growing up. Not as much as Shawn Porter, but I played football. It was really one season, but I was on varsity: a weird story. We became champions. It was an amazing year. 


The reason I didn’t want to continue football is because&mldr; Thurman don’t belong on the bench. I was an offensive lineman, defensive lineman, middle linebacker, on special teams. I was trying to be out there at all times. Later in the season they kept me on defense. I was the MVP. The hardest thing about being on defense was not being on the field for offense. I do not belong on the bench. Put me in the game coach. It’s been a longtime coming, but ya man “One Time” is back in the game. 


On Shawn Porter picking him as the clear winner in Tszyu fight.

I talked earlier about lack of understanding. The one thing Shawn Porter does not have is a lack of understanding of Keith Thurman. You may think that’s because Shawn Porter fought me. It doesn’t have anything to do with that. It go way back. Me and Shawn Porter were in the amateurs together. We saw each other compete in tournaments many times. 


Just to give you guys a brief under view of what generation Keith Thurman comes from, who really know who Keith Thurman is, you can say fighters like, Danny Garcia, Bud Crawford, Shawn Porter, Danny Jacobs, Deontay Wilder. Even names some of ya’ll might have forgotten, but I won’t, Sadam Ali. Ryan Garcia, Gary Russell Jr, Demetrius Andrade. 


I’ve been that boy with the ponytail who would show up to the tournament, and kids wouldn’t even be in my weight class, they would just point at me and say, “See that boy over there, that boy Samson.” They used to call me Samson. Been strong. These brothers know Keith Thurman. They remember when I didn’t have a jab, when I didn’t know how to use the ring, so when they see Keith Thurman today, they see I put in work and got my boxing level up. Thurman has never been an easy fight. That’s why I poke at Tim Tszyu. You’re solid, you like to plant your feet and move forward, I remember learning that when I was 9 years old. 


Was Tim Tszyu on his radar.

Last minute phone call, boom! They had a fight scheduled at 147 for me, but for those who don’t know&mldr; I’m right here by my bookshelf, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. A year and a half ago I went to his silent retreat. I do his breath work, Sudarshan Kriya. That helped me get through the hard times last year. 


Having peace within myself, having a positive mindset that good things are coming to those who wait, patience is a virtue. Things don’t happen on your timing. They happen on universal timing or God’s timing. However, you need to say it to yourself philosophically to sleep at night. If you don’t have those words that help you sleep at night, then you’re up all night, “Where is my contract?” “How come Al Haymon haven’t called me yet?” I could’ve been that guy easily, but I wasn’t, man. 


In the moments when I’m not fighting, it gives me the opportunity to be a husband and a father. You just gotta count your blessings. Within this beautiful sport of boxing and having all that free time, I’m not a man who is working a 9-5. I get to be with my children. 


At the end of the day, there is a kindling flame, a burning desire to make the best out of the career, to make the best out of the living dream of being in the ring. That fire, you can question it, you can doubt it, but it’s never gone out and it never will. 


When I got the phone call for Tim Tszyu, I was like, “Let me think about it.” I took two days and I said, “You know what, this sounds fun. This sounds exciting.” What is Keith Thurman going to do being a WBA regular champion again? I was the WBA regular champion, I was the WBA super champion, what is it going to mean being the WBA regular champion again. I don’t know how that sounds when it hits your ears but when it hits mine and in my heart of hearts, it didn’t sound like the story that I wanted. 


Does Keith Thurman belong at 54? We don’t know, so let’s go. Let’s run it. Let’s find out together. I have an opportunity to not win the world title but establish myself at 154. Tszyu been trying to get [Jermell] Charlo. This is just a pause for him. They putting Thurman in front of me, I get past Thurman and I get Charlo. If Thurman beats Tszyu, Thurman gets Charlo, I can run through the whole division in two-fights. How do you think that sounds to my ears? If nothing else it’s fun, it’s a challenge, and it wakes me up. 


Look at my resume, Keith Thurman loves putting on great fights for the sport, I’m just not the guy to put a lot of filler in there. I train really hard, and I want a legitimate opponent on the other side of that ring when I’m done with training camp. No taxi drivers, baby.  

(Additional reporting provided by Miriam Onyango)