Fresh off his win as Fighter of the Year in the PBC league, on Monday Keith Thurman was in a mode to smell the roses, look back in appreciation at his 2015, which saw him be the main eventer in the PBC premieres on NBC and ESPN.
But first, there were dogs to be walked by the 26-0 (22 KOs), boxer-puncher.
“One Time” checked in with NYFights.com after finishing up bringing one of three family dogs, “Little Champion,” a pit, to the dog run, in Clearwater, Florida.
An excited bark was heard as he walked to his car–I guess the dog is still jazzed about the FOY award–and we chatted some about the year that was, and what his plans for 2016 include.
First, let’s get this out of the way up top. He’s in pre-camp now, working with trainer Dan Birmingham, and readying himself for a scrap in February.
“I got my eyes focused on Shawn Porter,” the 27-year-old told me. “They (Team Porter, mostly dad Kenny) keep talking, but I’m not in a mode to really be talking, because that’s not till next year. My thinking is, thanks for voting for me for Fighter of the Year, and your boy will not let you down! We’re not gonna have to wait long. I got Porter on my mind, but if you ask me what my number one wish for Santa is, it’s to enjoy family while we can. I’m going to relax, enjoy family time. And I have to say I’m truly appreciative of where we are…it’s been 20 years of hard work.. where we are today, I’m grateful. Of course, I’m thinking of Ben Getty (his late trainer), and the 13 years he devoted to me, and the fact that he believed in me when no one else did. He told my mother and father, “This boy will be a champion!’ So, a lot of dreams come true, and my wish to Santa is that my dreams keep coming true.”
As for the PBC FOY win, over Danny Garcia, Leo Santa Cruz, Porter and Deontay Wilder, Thurman thinks he edged out some other guys that could have gotten the nod because his bouts were main events on NBC (in March) and on ESPN (in July). XL stages, and he gave good bang for the buck to fight fans, he noted.
First, he and Robert Guerrero displayed grit and volume, and then he took out respected vet Luis Collazo.
So, there will be indulging in sweet holiday vibes, with his galpal, and their three mutts. The elder stateswoman is a chihuahua, age 8, Liberty. Then Nova, age 4, also a Chihuahua…and the new pit. Thurman reports the pit is the softy of the group, sometimes gets bullied a bit, so maybe moving forward the canine will learn some Thurman aggression by symbiosis. Certainly, the boxer seems to think that will be front and center when him and Porter rumble. He’s been liking the appetites he sees being whetted for this fight, versus the Ohioan. He told me he respects Porters’ strengths, and knows Team Porter respects his traits. Thurman is keen on filling that hole at 147 that Floyd left, and is growing into his role as stable vet, after being the rising comer for a few years.
“I think me against Porter is a great fight, it needs to happen, and I look forward to building it up after finalizing it,” Thurman said. “It’s the first thing on my to do list! And, yes, I’m going to relax, with family time…and then it’s my time to shine, in 2016. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and happy new year. Thanks for all the love! And stay tuned.”
NYF fans, talk to me. Who wins Thurman versus Porter, and how? I told Thurman an ex fighter and current TV analyst I spoke to said that Porter would be too strong for Thurman…obviously, the Floridian doesn’t agree.
Do you? Leave a comment!