By Carlos Arias
CARSON --- Keith "One Time" has been waiting for this moment for a long time. He gets his first opportunity to headline a Showtime event when he takes on Julio Diaz in the main event on Saturday night at StubHub Center.
"I'm looking forward to Saturday night," Thurman said at Thursday's final pre-fight news conference. "I've been looking forward to Saturday night for a long time. This camp right here is the longest camp I had. It was a 10-week camp, because I was getting prepared for anybody. I was getting prepared for the world. And here we are. We got Julio Diaz. I'm ready. I'm looking forward to it. Please come. If you can't come, tune in. Support the local fighters."
Thurman, 25, said he knows Diaz, 34, is a veteran with a ton of experience.
"Julio has been giving his competition some stiff competition," said Thurman, who is 22-0 with 20 KOs. "They call him 'The Kidd' because he keeps performing even with his age. I know he comes to win. He's coming to find those holes and show that I'm the young fighter and he's the veteran, and he knows a few more things than I know. I don't believe that. That's the game plan. I'm looking forward to him sticking to the game plan. I look forward to this fight."
Diaz is winless in his past three fights, which include a draw and a decision loss to Shawn Porter and a decision loss to Amir Khan. Many ringside observers believe Diaz should have got the verdict in the first fight against Porter and the Khan fight.
"I've been through every promoter, including Don King, and I've worked with everybody and this is by far the best treatment I've ever had (from Golden Boy Promotions)," Diaz said. "As a fighter coming off a couple of losses and still getting opportunities and still headlining a main event, that tells me they appreciate my craft, my effort and my performance.
"This is an opportunity. This is a tough opportunity. It's a dangerous opportunity. I'm fighting a dangerous fighter, a strong, tough fighter. But (he's) not unbeatable. You know, everything is possible. Although everybody always counts me out I always come and perform. Shawn Porter was an undefeated fighter and nobody gave me a chance. They said I was old and all done. I thought I did good and ended up with a draw. And Amir Khan ... What am I doing there? I thought I won that fight as well. So it just tells you I come to fight. I take my job seriously. This is going to be a tough fight, but I guarantee I come to fight and it will be an exciting fight. I'll do my part."
Contact Carlos Arias on Twitter @PunchyMcGee.Tags: Julio Diaz , Keith Thurman , Thurman-Diaz , Thurman vs. Diaz