Photo by Gene Blevins/Hoganphotos-Golden Boy Promotions
Keith Thurman has stopped 18 of his 19 opponents so far in his professional career. Can the sturdy chinned Jan Zaveck take him to the later rounds? Thurman doesn't think so.
Tomorrow night Keith "One Time" Thurman will be facing Jan Zaveck in a WBO welterweight eliminator to determine the top contender to Tim Bradley's belt. The fight is the chief supporting bout to the Bernard Hopkins - Tavoris Cloud main event on HBO, and could very well steal the show. Thurman is a big puncher, with 18 of his 19 wins coming before the final bell. Zaveck himself is a good boxer, know to most as having lost to Andre Berto via fifth round stoppage on cuts two years back. Before the bout was called off, Zaveck gave a good account of himself, and it would have been interesting to see where the fight would have gone if his eyes hadn't misbehaved.
Thurman recently gave an interview to Boxing Scene's radio show, The Boxing Lab, and discussed his strategy for tomorrow night's fight. Hint: it involves punching Zaveck really, really hard.
"I'm definitely going to see how my punches feel to him. I'm (going to) test him. We're going to test his chin, test his body. And we're going to make sure he's up for this battle. I'm going to in there and see if this guy can even hang with me. If you can't hang with me, if you cannot take my power, I will get you out of there," Thurman would tell The Boxing Lab.
"They say I fought a lot of tomato cans but look at anybody's record and who hasn't? But how many people have 18 knockouts out of 19 victories? I plan on testing him early; I plan on looking for that punch, that one punch - that one beautiful punch. I'm telling you, that's why One Time is the name man. I'm always looking to place that one beautiful punch and I was able to find that one beautiful punch against Carlos Quintana with two minutes (and change) of round one.
I don't talk about it much but knocking your opponent out is an art. It's a skill. And I'm always zoned in looking to place that punch. I'm going to test (Zaveck) early on. He might not make it past four (rounds) just like Quintana. We might do it sooner than Berto did. I know this dude has never really been knocked down and I know he's tough as can be and we'll see what happens. So you know I'm just going to showcase my skill and showcase my talent and definitely 100% bring my power into the ring and we're going to see what happens," declared Thurman
Thurman really loves to talk about that one beautiful punch, man. Anyways, the guy sounds very confident, bordering on outright cocky. Zaveck is a good pro that should test Thurman, at least a little bit. There's also the possibility that Quintana's days were numbered, and perhaps that victory is not as impressive on second glance.
Either way, we should get more of a handle on Thurman after tomorrow night's fight. It figures to be a good one, and I can't envision it not being the better fight on the card unless it does, in fact, turn into a blowout.