WBN caught up with welterweight star and former unified world champion Keith Thurman this week to discuss Floyd Mayweather and the current issues in boxing.
One of those is the current fad of YouTubers charading as professional boxers, something some TV networks are pandering to in their bid for ratings or Pay Per View sales.
The great Floyd Mayweather has appeared on posters alongside a gamer slash vlogger. A wannabe boxer with about as much boxing talent as a bumfighter.
Thurman offered his expert view on the situation that is threatening the livelihood of boxers lower down the food chain.
Promoters and network executives are looking to social media followers over substance, a worrying trend that could break the very fabric of purist pugilism.
Asked what did he makes of Floyd Mayweather possibly fighting a YouTuber in the future, Thurman gave a half-diplomatic answer at first.
“Listen, it’s Floyd Mayweather. It won’t be entertaining as Floyd doesn’t bring entertainment in the ring. He brings money, status, and fame. But that’s not entertainment,” Thurman exclusively told World Boxing News.
Pressed on whether he thought YouTubers should be fighting real boxers if they decided to secure a professional license, ‘One Time’ was a little less hesitant at offering a piece of his mind.
“They should do whatever they want to do as it’s not real boxing,” pointed out Thuram, “It’s fighting, but it’s NOT boxing.
“It’s like a circus show. But, fight fans like to see fights, and they are providing entertaining fights for the fight fans.
“The boxing purists would argue it regardless if they call it entertainment or not.”
He continued: “There’s a glitch in the matrix in that the YouTubers have a tremendous fan base. Those fan bases will follow them regardless of what they do.
“So there will be a fan that will always go see them whatever they are doing. They are just taking advantage of the world right now. I can’t blame them for that.
“It is entertainment as one of the last fights ended in a KO (Nate Robinson). And it’s all about hitting the headlines.
“It reminds me of Conor McGregor or wrestling. It reminds me of the ultimate warrior – snapping into a Slim Jim!
“Anyone stirring up controversy, and right now, there is not a lot of entertainment, and they are doing something different.
“A lot of people are backing it that enjoy it. Some fighters want them to get knocked out.
“But we’ll see what happens when the YouTubers are willing to put themselves in a tough fight situation,” concluded the soon-to-return 32-year-old.
Out of the ring for approaching two years, Thurman is on the cusp of confirming when and where his next fight will occur.
There certainly won’t be a YouTuber in sight when that happens.