By Jake Donovan
A few weeks ago, Keith Thurman was one of the happiest people on earth. The former amateur standout and currently unbeaten welterweight prospect was tabbed to make his HBO debut when he was matched with Marcos Maidana on the July 21 broadcast live from Cincinnati.
Maidana conditionally agreed to terms, but backed out after his management had a considerable change of heart.
Thurman (17-0, 16KO) remained confident that the date would hold, even if it meant preparing for whatever suitable replacement opponent could be sought on short notice.
“I’m ready to fight. I don’t care who it is,” Thurman insisted upon receiving confirmation that he will face fringe contender Orlando Lara (29-2-2, 19KO). The bout will appear as the HBO-televised co-feature to Adrien Broner’s homecoming in a title defense against Vicente Escobedo.
The news of Lora being approved came Thursday afternoon, as first reported by Boxingscene.com owner and Director of Operations Rick Reeno. Two weeks had passed since Maidana pulled out of the fight, leaving Thurman’s handlers pressed for time to keep the Florida-based fighter on television.
During the entire time an opponent was being sought, Thurman trained as if the opponent was still Maidana. The same mentality will be carried into the ring on fight night.
“I’m looking forward to make a statement,” Thurman states, aware of the fact that he needs to look damn good as opposed to just winning. “The hurt I put on this guy (Lora) will be the hurt I was expecting to put on Maidana.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox