By Rick Reeno
MGM Grand, Las Vegas - WBA interim-welterweight champion Keith "One Time" Thurman (23-0, 21KOs) reflected back on Marcos Maidana's withdrawal from an HBO televised fight that Golden Boy set for them on July 21 of 2012.
At the time, Maidana was coming off a February lopsided defeat to Devon Alexander. Thurman was an unknown who was making his HBO debut. After initially agreeing to the fight, Maidana decided the opportunity wasn't right and he withdrew. Maidana was replaced by Orlando Lora, who Thurman knocked out in six rounds.
Later tonight, Maidana will face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a welterweight unification.
"He had just lost to Devon Alexander and I think his team felt that he needed a little bit more experience at welterweight. The fight with Alexander was Maidana's first fight at welterweight but it was also Devon's first fight at welterweight. He didn't even lose to a true welterweight. His team wanted him to get comfortable [at 147], they wanted him to go back to the drawing board and rededicate himself to the sport. If I was Maidana I would have did the same thing," Thurman said.
"His team released an article saying something smells fishy, that something wasn't right, because at the time nobody had heard of Keith Thurman. All they knew is that I had signed with Al Haymon and I was 17-0 with 16 knockouts."