Keith Thurman is 'belt hungry,' wants to be undisputed welterweight champion

USA TODAY Sports

Keith Thurman faces Diego Chaves this Saturday on Showtime, and the 24-year-old contender says that his ultimate goal is to become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world.

Becoming undisputed champion in a weight class these days is a hell of a lot harder than just being able to beat all four guys who currently hold titles, which is a tough enough task in itself. But Keith Thurman says that's his goal at 147 pounds, to win the WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO world titles, making him one of the few undisputed champions in recent memory.

Thurman (20-0, 18 KO) will try to take a step toward that on Saturday night in San Antonio, when he faces Argentina's Diego Chaves (22-0, 18 KO) on Showtime and Golden Boy's Knockout Kings II card. The fight is for the interim WBA title, because after all, it has been a whole month since we've seen the full WBA title defended, when Adrien Broner won it from Paulie Malignaggi.

But that aside, here's what Thurman told BoxingScene Radio:

"I'm belt hungry. I got many sayings in this game and one of them is ‘I have an 0 and I'm not afraid to let it go'. What that means is I'm willing to fight anybody to be a world champion. I truly want to prove myself in this sport and in this industry. So whoever I have to face to get that strap, I'll fight them. ... I actually have another desire and this is my dream. It's really to make the history books. The way I see doing that is to be the undisputed Welterweight champion of the world. It hasn't been done in a very long time.

"Some of these fighters are really not fighting. Some of these champs aren't fighting other champs or making the fights happen. I don't even know if it's even possible nowadays the way Golden Boy and Bob Arum don't work together but that's my dream and my goal."

It is nice -- and refreshing -- to see Thurman look at a nearly impossible goal through realistic eyes, instead of being one of the fighters on either side of the Golden Boy/Top Rank feud who tell people nonsense like, "It could happen! I could fight a guy from the other side, definitely!" like there's any chance that it will actually happen, giving The Fans all this false hope and what have you. Shameless! Irresponsible! Outrage!

Thurman does appear to have legitimate ambitions to get moving and make his way to a world title, though, which is also good to see. He's called out everyone from Paulie Malignaggi to Floyd Mayweather in the last year or so, and he seems legitimately ready to take risks. Chaves is an intriguing fight on paper this Saturday, but if Thurman wins -- and especially if he wins impressively -- the titleholders should probably be put on notice soon.

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