By Carlos Arias
LAS VEGAS --- Keith Thurman did something Amir Khan and Shawn Porter were unable to do when he finished Julio Diaz after three rounds to retain his interim WBA welterweight title last weekend at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
Porter fought to a draw and won a close decision against Diaz. Khan got knocked down, but somehow pulled out a questionable decision over Diaz. Thurman, who has been attending all the fight week events for Floyd Mayweather-Marcos Maidana to check out the spectacle of it all, busted up Diaz's ribs and forced him to retire in his corner after the third round.
"It showed that Keith Thurman is not Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman is not Amir Khan, because Julio Diaz had two performances against Porter that went the distance," Thurman said to BoxingScene.com, "and he went the distance with Amir Khan, knocked him down early on in the third or fourth. It was a good combination, a legitimate knockdown. And Khan boxed. Some people believe it was still a draw. In the later rounds, Julio Diaz was pressing and pressing the fight.
"That's what I really wanted to do to Julio Diaz and show him that I'm not those other boys you were in the ring with. I might be one of the youngest, but I'm still one of the most deadliest and ferocious welterweights in the division today."
How does he think he would fare against Khan?
"I'd lay him out just like Danny Garcia," Thurman said. "Because no matter what the speed is, you know, it's real terrific. Another example is the Paulie Malignaggi fight against Shawn Porter. It's nice to be able to throw jabs and right hands and throw combinations faster than your opponent. But no fighter --- there might be a very small percentage --- no real fighter throws slow punches. And if you can time your opponent, it doesn't matter how fast they are. Danny Garcia showed it and Shawn Porter showed it.
"So if Amir Khan was ever to step in the ring with me, I'd be doing the same thing to him. I'd be looking forward to those combinations. I'd be looking forward to chasing him around the ring and him showing me that footwork he has. As a matter of fact, if we fight, at the press conference, I'd tell him I hope he runs his mouth backwards because that's what he'd be doing the whole fight."
Contact Carlos Arias on Twitter @PunchyMcGee.