WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman opened training camp to the media Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Florida as he prepares to defend his title against former world champion Shawn Porter on Saturday, June 25 in the main event of a Showtime televised card, from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT with a featherweight world title showdown between current champion Jesus Cuellar and former three-division world champion Abner Mares.
Born and raised in the area, Thurman worked out at St. Pete Boxing Club along with longtime trainer Dan Birmingham as he prepared for his primetime battle against the strong and dangerous Porter.
Below is what the participants had to say Wednesday:
“Muhammad Ali opened up the door for so many people. Michael Jordan changed the game in our era, but Ali did it so long ago. He showed people that boxing is a great sport and can be the most entertaining sport in the world.
“For me, it’s almost like a dream come true. It’s surreal. I remember at an early age in boxing saying, ‘I want to be the guy that brings boxing back.’ I’m really blessed to be where I am in my career. For all the fighters who could end up on this stage, I’m proud that I’ve been chosen.
“I’ve always considered myself a knockout artist. Back to when I was a teenager knocking out grown men in headgear. Ever since then, I’ve been dropping people like a bad habit.
“I love being a power-puncher. My favorite fighter of all time is Mike Tyson. One of my goals that I set when I was a kid was to have more knockouts than Mike Tyson throughout my career.
“I’m ready for Shawn Porter. We’re going to box harder, box stronger and box better. I will be the better man.
“Training is the fundamentals of getting one prepared. We’ve always known that Shawn Porter was going to come into this fight in tremendous shape. That’s what his training methods are all about. But the Energizer Bunny has never been hit by Keith Thurman, and I’m pretty sure I could stop it in its tracks.
“I’m going for the knockout. I’ve stated it before. My hands are itching for a knockout. I’m ‘One Time,’ all the time. That’s my philosophy. Every single time I step into the ring I’m looking for the knockout. We don’t get paid for overtime.
“This is an opportunity to showcase our talents and our skills to the world. The winner will have an opportunity to be the head guy in the sport. I’ve always wanted to have a legacy in the sport of boxing.
“I want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world. That’s my ultimate goal. There have only been so many in the history of boxing. I want to be a part of that history.”
DAN BIRMINGHAM, Thurman’s Trainer
“Keith is a guy who deserves to be on this stage. He has a lot of experience and he’s come into his own. This is the kind of thing that happens when you work hard.
“Life happens. Keith was involved in the accident and so we took the necessary rest. He saw the right doctors and we’re back now. We’re ready for Shawn Porter.
“We’re constantly conditioning. We’re working on attacking his style. He’s a short, come-forward brawler who’s going to try to come into Keith’s chest and make it a war. We’re making out adjustments.
“Keith has to be busier, more in charge fighter. He has to work off of his jab and then his power will keep Porter at bay.”
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June 9, 2016