Its no surprise that both Keith Thurman and his trainer are expecting a short night on December 13th. Thurman's stock has been steadily rising since his debut on premium subscription television and he's now set to face a near 40-year old fighter who's never fought on this side of the pond before, nor against anyone of Thurman's caliber. Thus Keith Thurman sort of looks at this fight as broadening his culture horizons.
"This is the world of boxing. I've shown people that I can do well against challengers from all around the world. I'm getting whoever I can get and facing good competition," said Thurman.
"For this fight, I wanted to face somebody with a good record and this guy is undefeated and has a great record and I look forward to fighting him. The dude knows how to box, so it should be a good match-up for however long it lasts."
"However long it lasts" is clearly indicative of what this fight is set up to be. I don't mean this to be piling on Leonard Bundu though, he's a decent enough European domestic and ranked just outside the welterweight top 10 according to BoxRec. But realistically, he's no spring chicken, he's never been on this level before, and more importantly, he fights in straight lines which I think will ultimately cost him going against a man who can really crack. Therefore, Thurman has been more inclined to talk about his career, his progression, and what he sees in his future.
"I've been pleased with my progression, for the most part. A part of me was disappointed for not getting the knockout against Zaveck but I did do what I wanted to do in the Zaveck fight and I did it for 12 rounds. So with each appearance, you learn something," said Thurman.
"I'm there to win and we won. I'm coming to win on Dec. 13 and we're gonna win whether it takes 12 rounds or two rounds. This is a beautiful sport and I look forward to the whole show. I'm prepared for the whole show."
"I'm looking to once again gain some experience. Like a fine wine, we only get better with time every appearance," said Thurman, who turns 26 on Nov. 23 - two days days after Bundu's 40th birthday.
"This is a highly-respected opponent. Hopefully, I'll be able to expose his age and get him with some nice shots like I normally do. I want to sit down on them and deliver in the traditional ‘One Time' fashion."
The fine wine part always sounds good, but if it were only that simple then Bundu, who'll be 40 come fight night, would clearly have the leg up on Thurman. He doesn't. So ultimately, Thurman hopes are analogous to just about everyone else hovering near the welterweight division -- a fight with Floyd Mayweather.
"Most of the feedback I hear from fans is ‘Go get Mayweather,' or, ‘Knock out Mayweather,' and then, outside of that, you hear someone say, ‘He'll never fight you.' Then, it's just love. The support is growing. I thank all of my fans. It's an honor and a pleasure to be entertaining people and for people to appreciate all of your hard work," said Thurman.
"We definitely do put in the work. The fans make this interesting. The interest and support is growing but I'm still young and I'm looking forward to my career, man. When I bring it 100 percent, I'm dangerous for anybody but we stay humble, man, because anything can happen in that ring. I'm just looking forward to expanding my fan base with another great performance on Dec. 13."
Thurman can already be argued as a good potential foe for Mayweather, but his current name recognition doesn't yet put him on the level where they'll be any genuine pressure on Mayweather to take on Thurman in his next (and possibly final) two bouts. So if he's hoping to make a strong enough impression, he'll have to get right to it, starting with Bundu.