Keith Thurman June 2015

Keith Thurman has made his case to be named as the last man to face Floyd Mayweather later this year, with the hard-hitting American looking to leap to the front of a queue containing the likes of Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto and Kell Brook to be the 38-year old's final opponent.

Thurman will defend his WBA regular title when he faces the experienced Luis Collazo on July 11, in a fight he will go into priced as short as 1/34 with 32Red to win, but the unbeaten 26-year old already has one eye on a potential crack at Mayweather's WBA super, WBO and WBC belts at the end of the year.

With one fight left on his Showtime deal, Money May's next and final opponent has been the subject of much discussion over recent weeks, and a number of fighters putting forward their argument to earn themselves a shot at the pound-for-pound king's titles and unbeaten record, not to mention the huge payday that would come with fighting Mayweather.

Thurman has put himself within touching distance of Mayweather with a string of ruthless performances over the past couple of years, earning the WBA strap with a comprehensive points victory over Robert Guerrero in March and establishing himself as one of the best welterweights in the sport.

Still without that stand-out name on his record, Thurman still isn't as well known to the casual boxing fans as some of rivals and has been labelled as a risky option for Mayweather to take for his final fight.

But on a purely boxing point of view, it's hard to argue Thurman doesn't have as strong a case as any to claim he should earn his shot at the champ. Unbeaten in his 25-fight career, the American has dealt with all his opponents up to date without any real concerns.

But while Luis Collazo won't be an easy touch for One-Time, it isn't the sort of name that is going to propel Thurman into the public's consciousness and make it impossible for Mayweather to overlook him.


Mayweather finds himself in strange situation right now, trying to select an opponent without the world throwing the name Manny Pacquiao at him. Following his comfortable points victory over his long-time rival in May, the pound-for-pound king of boxing has a number of different options available to him.

From the shortlist of worthy contenders in hoping for their chance at the Money Man, it's hard to claim any really get the blood pumping for fans or Mayweather, himself.

Amir Khan might have been the loudest voice calling for the fight in recent years, but a rematch with Cotto with a middleweight title on the line could be what the man classed as the best ever needs to get him up for his 49th professional fight.

Throw unbeaten welterweight champions Thurman and England's IBF king Kell Brook into the mix, and you could have four boxers waiting by the phone over the next couple of months to see if they get the call from Team Mayweather.

If you listen to reports coming out of the Mayweather camp, challenging Cotto for the middleweight belt is currently Floyd's preferred choice, and the rest of the division would have to move on and fight it out among themselves to establish themselves as the next king.

The problem for Thurman, Brook and Khan is the sheer risk factor they would bring to Mayweather's final fight.

While those young contenders might gain the unbeaten king more credit than an over-the hill Miguel Cotto, but it's up for discussion whether that additional praise would be enough to overshadow the prospect of Mayweather winning a world title in a sixth weight-class.

For Thurman, that could open the door for him to really secure those big fights that have so far eluded him.

Granted, none of them would be as big as a Mayweather fight, but One Time would have a better chance of getting into the ring with the likes of Khan, Brook and Broner if the rest of the division aren't too busy fluttering their eyelids in Floyd's direction.

The thought of unbeaten duo Thurman and Brook meeting in a unification bout would certainly excite the boxing public, not to mention split those betting with the likes of 32Red and UNIBET and Amir Khan might find the offer of an all-British mega-fight against the current IBF champion much more appealing if he knows he won't be able to cash in his Mayweather chip in at the casino.


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