By Scott Gilfoid:
WBA interim welterweight champion Keith Thurman (23-0, 21 KOs) called out former IBF/WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan (29-3, 19 KOs) on Friday, saying he wants to fight Khan before the end of the year if he’s interested in taking the fight.
Thurman said he realizes that Khan won’t be getting a fight against IBF welterweight champion in 2014, so he thinks the two of them should fight each other instead. Brook is still recovering from a knife attack and he’s not expected to fight again this year.
Thurman said that if he can’t get a fight against Khan, then he’ll gladly take a fight with Juan Manuel Marquez. That’s probably not going to happen though because Marquez is looking to fight for a world title, and the only belt that Thurman has is an interim title rather than a real title. That’s not what Marquez is looking for. He wants an actual title that he can add to his collection to help validate his career.
“I’d love to fight Amir Khan, because he’s not going to be able to fight Kell Brook” Thurman said on Friday at the weigh-in to Showtime. “I’d also take a fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. Really, I’m ready to fight anybody in the top 10. The welterweight division is so packed. They have options and too many options. That’s how I’m being avoided right now.”
In theory, Khan and Thurman is a fight that should be very, very easy to make because both guys fight for Golden Boy Promotions and both of them have Al Haymon as their adviser. It’s an easy fight for Haymon to make if he wants to make the fight. Of course, Haymon would need Khan to agree to the fight first because he couldn’t drag Khan kicking and screaming into the ring to fight Thurman if he doesn’t feel up to fighting him.
Thurman would be a dramatic improvement over the mediocre opposition that Khan has been fighting ever since he was knocked out by Danny Garcia in 2012. That’s the whole thing. I don’t know that Khan is interested in fighting a real top contender. He seems like he’s just angling for a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr in a cash out fight, and until he gets that fight, Khan is going to continue to take the soft route.
The problem with that is by fighting 2nd tier guys or fighter with an inflated ranking like Luis Collazo is that it doesn’t increase Khan’s popularity in the boxing community, and it doesn’t help him improve his skills. Fighting weak guys aren’t going to improve Khan’s ability to fight. He’s kind of been stagnating since his loss to Garcia in 2012.
“I’ve been in physical therapy for 6 weeks now,” Thurman said. “We’re going to put in 3 more weeks, and we’re going to be taking care of this shoulder for years to come. Hopefully, you guys will be seeing me in November in a date to be announced. The opponent to be announced.”
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