Exclusive: Thurman talks Canelo v Khan / GGG, praises Brook, Joshua

Lucas Noonan

Welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman thinks that Amir Khan should move back down to the 147lb division, after an unsuccessful trip up to the middleweight ranks, albeit at a catchweight of 155lb.

Khan moved up to face WBC champion and pound-for-pound star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at the newly built T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night and fell to a devastating sixth round knockout having started brightly.

The fight was dubbed speed vs power and unsurprisingly to Thurman – who is currently preparing for his June world title fight against Shawn Porter – it was the power that came out on top.

Thurman exclusively told World Boxing News: “The fight happened how I thought it would and a lot of people in the boxing fraternity saw it ending the same way. Khan knew speed was going to be important and he would have watched the Canelo-Cotto fight and thought that his boxing skills were superior to Cotto’s and he would do a better job against the bigger and slower fighter in Canelo.

“I’m not the only ‘One Time’ puncher around and I am called it because I have that one big power punch in the locker – Canelo has it too and it wins fights. It often proves to be the difference.”

In the aftermath of the pay-per-view bout, questions will now be raised as to what is next for the two participants with a fight between Canelo and fellow middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin the most sought-after and talked about matchup in boxing right now.

“Firstly, Khan should move back down to 147lb without hesitation because he has no business at the bigger weights. He was a light welter fighting at middleweight and at his age and at this stage of his career, that is not right.

“Everyone wants the Canelo-GGG fight and the ball is in the court of the Mexican. He can choose whether he wants to fight GGG or postpone it again – it depends what he decides. It all depends on how eager Canelo is to prove that he is the best pound-for-pound fighter around,” Thurman, 27, said.

‘One Time’ also took a moment to comment on the current state of British boxing which has hit a prosperous purple patch – currently boasting 11 world champions.

He said: “It’s great to see British boxing back on the map and it is good to have worldwide competition keeping boxing a global sport. I have always been a fan and used to enjoy watching Ricky Hatton and Lennox Lewis, as well as other European fighters.

“Nowadays, I like the look of Anthony Joshua and Kell Brook who both have great potential as well as a world title. I am always willing to travel to places and many great fighters and big fights have taken place overseas throughout history. I am the ‘world’ champ so I am open to fight anywhere in the world – including the UK.”

Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123