By Carlos Arias
LOS ANGELES --- Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter are two undefeated rising stars in the boxing world who seem destined to meet in the ring one day.
Porter dismantled former two-time world champion Paulie Malignaggi in four rounds to retain his IBF welterweight belt this past weekend. Thurman gets his chance to shine when he takes on former two-time world champion Julio Diaz in the main event on Saturday night at StubHub Center in Carson on Showtime.
"Terrific performance. Congratulations to Team Porter," Thurman said at Wednesday's open workout at Westside Boxing Club. "Paulie fought one of the worst fights I've seen him fight. He never put his hands up for four rounds. It was not the definition of what we call 'smart boxing,' and Porter took advantage of that and dominated from the start to the end of the fight."
Porter's father, Kenny, said a fight against Thurman isn't big enough at this moment.
"I mean, he's got a lot of easy money to go make," Thurman said. "He's got a lot of other lesser threats to fight and he's got fame to build. You gotta understand, if me and Shawn Porter were to fight --- and I'm going to favor myself like I normally would --- if we were to fight and I was to take the title from him, they would start to discredit Shawn Porter, saying that he never had what it took to be a true champion.
"I believe his father wants to show the public that he does have what it takes to be a champion. If you look at what Ken Porter has been saying about me, he's been saying I'm a champion in the making. Me and Shawn Porter and Ken Porter have worked together in training camps before and we know each other very well. We're both very young in the sport of boxing, and even thought the fans might want the fight right now, technically if you know how the sport boxing works, it is a fight that can be postponed. We can build it. Why make it a good fight when you can make it a super mega fight? That's the way that his father is looking at it and I can't blame him for that mentality and state of mind."
Thurman said he takes Kenny Porter's comments as being respectful.
"It definitely wasn't disrespectful," Thurman said. "To a degree it was actually respectful. I mean, to get all these guys ducking me is a form of respect. I mean, if I was a chump, wouldn't they take that easy money? Even if it wasn't enough money they would take care of me and then move on to the next one. I'm an undefeated fighter coming up in the world of boxing. But it's not an easy win for them, so they are trying to take other avenues."