By Adam Canavan @adam_canavan
This Saturday, on the undercard of Andre Berto vs Jesus Soto-Karass, is an exciting welterweight clash between two unbeaten power punchers: Keith Thurman (20(18)-0) against Diego Gabriel Chaves (22(18)-0).
Keith Thurman, from Clearwater Florida, is considered one of Golden Boy's top prospects and so far he has lived up to the hype. He has two key wins on his record in my opinion, the first is former world title holder Carlos Quintana: Quintana has fought Cotto, Quintana retired in his corner in the 5th round, Paul Williams twice where he beat Williams in their first encounter via a Unanimous Decision but then lost the rematch in the first round and Quintana also faced Andre Berto, losing by TKO in the 8th round. Keith Thurman arguably performed the best out of all of them against Quintana, stopping him in the 4th (Quintana was dropped in the 1st by a left to the body before being stopped on his feet after a barrage of heavy punches in the 4th). Thurman's second notable win, and for me his best win, is a unanimous decision against the experienced former world champion Jan Zaveck. Thurman basically battered Zaveck for 12 rounds and all 3 judges scored the fight a 120-108 shutout victory.
I have been impressed with Thurman so far. He is very good coming forward and can also box off the back foot, he uses an excellent variety of punches switching well between head and body in combinations, he is very good at spotting openings and rarely wastes a punch and he is actually quite sound defensively, whether it be blocking or getting out of the way, but the thing I like about him most is that he is clearly a big puncher but he is not completely in love with his power; he's patient and will take his time to find the openings in order to finish you. He also looked like he had no problems doing the 12 rounds against Zaveck.
I dont Know much about the Argentinian Diego Gabriel Chaves but, and this may just be me, I dont recognise any of the names on his record to be of much note. But nonetheless, from what I have seen of him he only knows one way, which is to come forward and knock people out. His punches sometimes seem very wild to me and he sometimes leaves himself open but to his credit the punches he often knocks his opponent out with sometimes look, whether by accident or by design I don't know, perfectly placed. also, he has the power to go with his style and some highlight reel Knockdowns and KO's because of that. Once he has you hurt, he has a killer instinct and he is relentless until he stops you. In one fight he even attacked his opponent after he knocked him down.
All things considered I think Thurman will have too much class for Chaves on the night. Don't get me wrong, Thurman isn't exactly a slick defensive genius, but I think he is skilled enough to beat Chaves to the punch and avoid those wild swinging bombs, but Chaves definitely has the one punch power to keep us on the edge of our seats throughout.
My final prediction is: Keith Thurman TKO7