It’s been pretty rough for Eimantas Stanionis. It wasn’t that long ago that the Lithuanian fought on a regular basis. As of late, he’s spent more and more time being sequestered on the sidelines. For the most part, Stanionis’ protracted time on the bench hasn’t been his fault. With Vergil Ortiz Jr. withdrawing from their showdown on multiple occasions, the current WBA “Regular” welterweight champion has been left out in the cold.
There are a few names Stanionis (14-0, 9 KOs) is now sifting through. Amongst them, is Keith Thurman. Inactivity has also plagued the former unified champs' career. From injury issues to merely waiting until bigger opportunities arrive, Thurman simply hasn't fought much as of late. When things are clicking on all cylinders and the 34-year-old is motivated, he’s proven to be an upper-echelon welterweight. Still, regardless of his elite status, Stanionis not only believes he has what it takes to beat him but ultimately, brutally stop him.
“Yes,” Stanionis told BoxingScene.com when asked if he could KO Thurman.
Whether Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) will return to the ring this year or not is an ambiguous question. When last seen, however, the man nicknamed “One Time,” picked up an easy win against Mario Barrios.
Stanionis, when he can, has watched Thurman’s performances. Although he doesn’t have much to choose from, he’s noticed a few patterns in Thurman’s game. Up until this point, only Manny Pacquiao has exploited those holes. Stanionis though, doesn't have world titles in eight separate divisions like Pacquiao does. But, with that said, he wholeheartedly believes that Thurman makes the sort of mistakes that will play right into his hands.
“He’s going to run around but I can catch him. His defense is not so good and his chin is in the air so I think I can catch him.”