Keith Thurman won a wide decision tonight, shutting out Leonard Bundu on scores of 120-107 across the board, but his performance was booed heavily by the Las Vegas crowd, which seemed to get to Thurman a bit after the fight.
Thurman (24-0, 21 KO) moved a lot more than usual, and after an eight-month layoff, may have been looking to get rounds in, too. He scored a first round knockdown of Bundu (31-1-2, 11 KO), and may have let the 40-year-old veteran off the hook. After that, though, the clever Bundu was able to stay out of Thurman's wheelhouse for the most part, and Thurman didn't press like he usually does, either.
That resulted in a lot of boos for the second half of the fight, and though Thurman didn't seem affected at all during the bout, once it was over, his interview with Jim Gray revealed something else.
It started off nicely enough, with Thurman saying that it might have been a bit of rust that slowed him down, and giving credit to Bundu's intelligence. "Bundu was a smart fighter. He was tricky, he switched, I never met a fighter like him. He was an Olympian, he came to not get knocked out. But he didn't win rounds," Thurman said. "He's always switching it up. We were patient and boxed smart. We were able to be the most accurate each round. We landed a few big punches, but he was able to take him."
When asked what he learned from the fight, the boos intensified, particularly after Thurman said that only some fans were booing.
"If we wanna get knockouts, we gotta move forward more. We gotta throw more punches in the gym instead of just counter-punching," Thurman said. "We clashed heads in the pocket, I didn't like that, so I wasn't trying to be in the pocket as much. This is the sport of boxing. I pick how I want to fight."
Argentina's Marcos Maidana was ringside for the show tonight, and a fight with Thurman has been mentioned repeatedly. Though Thurman called out Floyd Mayweather this week, there's no doubt that he didn't make the impression necessary to take that leap. Maidana (35-5, 31 KO) may now be his first target, and Thurman said he's ready to do that fight.
"Marcos Maidana, I see you, baby! Let's go! Mano e mano, baby! Two power punchers, let's go!"