By Luis Sandoval
BoxingScene.com ran a story on Saturday where hard hitting Marcos Maidana’s fight with Keith Thurman, which was rumored to have fallen apart, was still being negotiated between Golden Boy Promotions and Maidana’s manager Sebastian Contursi.
While Contursi and Golden Boy are indeed still in negotiations, it’s not for a possible Thurman fight for Maidana. Rather they are negotiating to find a replacement opponent for the Argentina native.
At this point it is safe to say Marcos Maidana will not be facing Keith Thurman on July 21st as the co-feature to the Adrien Broner-Vicente Escobedo main event fight. If Maidana does fight on the 21st it will be against a different opponent or he will be fighting on a different date.
I spoke to Sebastian Contursi who informed me when they sat down with Golden Boy Promotions, the plan was to do a tune up fight for Maidana who is coming off a loss to Devon Alexander. They were presented with three names and said yes to one. Unfortunately the name they chose, which Contursi said he would not disclose for the time being, turned down the fight with Maidana.
“That fight was going to be in July and then the name [Keith] Thurman appeared which was a name we did not know. To me particularly, and not just me, nobody liked the idea because the truth is Thurman is a guy who’s really a super welterweight. So we don’t understand who is so worried about this fight getting made. I don’t know but it came out in the press and somebody wants the fight” stated Contursi to BoxingScene.com.
“Who do you think is so interested? Nobody really knows Thurman. It’s a fight nobody understands because who has a contract with Thurman? Not Golden Boy”.
Thurman has the very powerful Al Haymon as part of his management team and I made it known to Contursi that I knew Thurman was signed to Haymon. Contursi acknowledged that people have said that and questioned again who really wants this fight made.
Contursi confirmed they are not on bad terms with Golden Boy but he wants them to understand his position regarding his fighter. They want a tuneup fight for Maidana to continue to get acclimated to the higher weight and to build up some confidence. Thurman does not fit the mold of a tuneup and is not what they have in mind especially considering Thurman's lack of a big name.
“We told Golden Boy that we didn’t want the fight. We want a tuneup. Is that a tuneup? All big name fighters take tune ups. And when they do tuneups, do they do them against a 17-0 opponent with 16 knockouts and a super welterweight?” asked Contursi as he referred to the 5’11 Thurman.
Contursi did say very early on in negotiations, there was a tentative agreement on the Thurman fight but no contracts were drawn up and no definite commitment came from Maidana’s side. The fight was still somehow being considered the co-feature to the main event but according to Contursi, no official announcement was ever made to his recollection.
Contursi confirmed the fight with Thurman would not be made and they will continue to explore opponents and possibilities for Maidana. They believe Maidana will stay at 147 but if a good opponent and option is presented to them at 140, Maidana would be willing to drop down to 140 and defend his WBA title.
At the moment it seems they will either consider a tune up fight for Maidana or if they are going to take a difficult fight, they rather it be against a big name like they are used to fighting. But make no mistake, if it was up to Maidana, he’d fight anyone and his heart and courage should not be questioned.
“Maidana will fight anyone. He doesn’t care. I talked to him today and he said he’ll fight anyone. But our obligation is to look out for his best interest. If you ask him, Maidana would fight a Klitschko. But [the Thuman fight] to us isn’t a tune up” stated Contursi.
Maidana’s return could be sometime in July and really depends on what opponent they are able to land. Sebastian Contursi himself isn’t too sure what date they will fight though July 21st, 28th and an original date of July 14th could also be a possibility.
“I don’t know but Maidana has been training, you saw him. He’s training little by little. He hasn’t had long in Oxnard, he’s been there a month and a week. I don’t think he’s 100%. I think he’s at 50% because he’s only trained a month.” informed Contursi as that may be another key as to why the Thurman fight would not be ideal.
While some fans were excited to see two hard hitting guys like Maidana and Thurman square off in a few weeks, it looks like those plans will have to wait. Let’s hope Maidana can find a suitable replacement.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter @Truewest007. You can also tune in to The Boxing Lab, Boxingscene’s official audio show every Tuesday from 6-8PM PST with hosts Ernest Gabion, Luis Sandoval, and Ryan Burton.