Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman finally chose to answer the questions fans have about why he’s facing Tim Tszyu in a non-title clash at 154 next instead of challenging Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis for his IBF welterweight title at 147.
Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) says he wasn’t offered a fight with the unbeaten Boots (31-0, 28 KOs). No contract was sent to him with the 26-year-old Boots’ name on it. The one that was sent to him had Tszyu’s name, and it was a non-title clash at 154.
Boxing fans might have a hard time believing Thurman, considering he’s never shown any desire to face Boots Ennis in the past and even said he didn’t know who he was at one point.
You can argue that Ennis is more popular in the U.S. than Tszyu, and that would be a fight that fans would prefer to see rather than watching Keith move up to 154.
No Welterweight Worries, Focus on Opportunity
“Boots was not on the contract for the first quarter of this year. The contracts I’ve been seeing, Boots is not on the table,” said Keith Thurman to Thaboxingvoice, when asked why he’s fighting Tim Tszyu and not Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, which would have his IBF welterweight title on the line of the match were made.
One reason why PBC could have chosen Tszyu for Thurman is it gives an excuse to tell fans if he loses. If Thurman gets beaten, he can blame it on his moving up to 154. He can’t do that if he faces Boots at 147 and gets knocked out.
“I don’t care what people say. People want to see this and that. That’s nice. I take what’s put out in front of me,” said Thurman. “I don’t have a problem making 147. That’s not why I’m moving up. I see my body frame. I make jokes with myself. I better not make 147 for this fight.
Thurman’s Strategy For Moving Up
“I’m bulking up. I’m bringing the speed from 147, bring the power, and hopefully add a little bit more strength. Bulk up the muscles and have a little bit more overall mass as we shift our weight around the ring and we transfer those heavy shots.
“We have a good game plan, and I’m looking forward to this competition. When it comes to moving up one weight class, normally that is fair play,” said Thurman.
Most fans believe the 35-year-old Thurman will lose to Tszyu.