Former IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck is looking to move a step closer to regaining the world title on March 9 when the experienced Slovenian tackles unbeaten Keith Thurman in Brooklyn, New York.
The 36 year-old, who lost his belt to Andre Berto on his only previous appearance in the United States in 2011, is returning with a renewed vigour as the fighter known as ‘Mr Sympathicus’ gears up to share the ring with an up and comer in 19-0 Thurman at the Barclays Center.
“There is no doubt that he is a young fighter, hungry for success on the winner of this fight will have all doors open to him,” Zaveck told World Boxing News.
“But right now I cannot rate him, I will only be able to rate him properly once our bout will be over. But looking at his score (record), I can only talk superlatives about him and his performances in the ring.”
Thurman at just 24 is on the verge of breaking into world class after stopping almost every opponent he has faced thus far, with only one of his opponents even making it past the sixth round.
The clash is down as a WBO 147lb title eliminator for a crack at Timothy Bradley at some point in the future, although a win for Zaveck could mean an immediate shot at the winner of Devon Alexander v Kell Brook.
Zaveck is currently ranked number one by the IBF and would certainly relish the opportunity to reclaim his old belt, with a preference for an upset win for Brook to set up a European contest with the Briton later in the year.
“Personally, I’d rather see Brook win. I have nothing against Alexander. I know he’s a great boxer, but I have seen Brook in ring more often and I like what I saw.
“He is a great boxer: explosive, quick and strong,” added Zaveck.