Keith Thurman Reflects, Gives His Thoughts on Muhammad Ali

By Ryan Burton

On June 3rd, Muhammad Ali passed away after a long battle with Parkinson's disease and respiratory ailments.  The former three-time heavyweight champion who many feel is the greatest ever to lace up a pair of gloves was thought of as the most recognizable athlete in the world at the time of his death. 

Ali is one of the few, if only, elite athletes whose accomplishments outside of the sports world likely overshadow his legendary career.

On Tuesday afternoon caught up with WBA welterweight champion Keith "One Time" Thurman (26-0) who faces Shawn Porter (26-1) on June 26th in a highly anticipated showdown that will be televised on CBS to get his thoughts on the revolutionary Ali, who has influenced many athletes and non-athletes alike.

keith-thurman (7)_1

"I try not to get too sad over death because it is a natural process of life. It is like seeing tails on the side of a coin - you have heads and you have tails - you have life and you have death. When one passes I normally go into reflection on what type of life that person lead.

"Muhammad Ali man, he lived an extraordinary life. To grow up in the time that he did, the generation that he did, to be an Olympian, to be a superstar athlete and then to be, really, somebody who really opened up the doors for all of sports entertainment. Athletes weren't getting paid the way that Muhammad Ali was getting paid back then. He really excited the American people. He was extraordinary to watch but his charisma and the way he would talk and give his interviews.  Muhammad Ali was a part of that generation that went from hearing the fight on the radio to watching it on black and white TV.

"It was just extraordinary, everything he did from changing his name to boycotting the war. He was somebody that definitely belongs in the history books. Somebody to remember. He is definitely an icon for me and an icon for many in the sport of boxing. Muhammad Ali was really, outside of being a tremendous entertainer and performer, a great person. RIP to Muhammad Ali and thank you for all that you did for everyone," Thurman told

Send questions or comments to [email protected]. You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Hearn Reacts To Critics: Miller vs. Adamek is NO Mismatch! Joseph Diaz, Manager To Meet: Decide on Weight Class Future Canelo 30-Day Weight For Golovkin Rematch - 167.4-Pounds Loeffler: Golovkin is 1 Win Away From Breaking Hopkins Record Fury: Wilder Coming Over Because He Knows Where Daddy Lives Arum is Firm: Murata To Face Quigley, Won't Bow To WBA Order Jermain Taylor - Domestic Violence Charges Are Dropped Tony Yoka's Appeal is Rejected, Doping Ban is Upheld By Judge Jacobs-Derevyanchenko Likely Headed to MSG Theater October 27 Derrick Webster Continues Streak, Stops Les Sherrington Mariana Juarez, Jackie Nava in Line To Collide Later This Year Fury: You'll See 'Heavyweight Sugar Ray Leonard' Against Pianeta Golovkin 30-Day Weight For Canelo Rematch - 168.3-Pounds Hooker Pumped: I'm Ready To Make Saucedo My Next Victim! Golovkin Explains Saunders Deal, Tense Negotiations For Canelo Usyk vs. Bellew: Very Positive Meetings Take Place For Fight Hooker vs. Saucedo Purse Bid: Top Rank Beats Out Hearn Rigondeaux Looks To Work With DeCubas Jr., Aims To Be Active Ryosuke Iwasa vs. TJ Doheny Will Be Carried By ESPN+ Photos: Tyson Fury, Francesco Pianeta - Go Face To Face Fury's Coach: Our Focus Right Now is On Pianeta, Not Wilder Photos: Jose Pedraza Grinds Hard For Rey Beltran Title Fight Ruben Guerrero Leans To Canelo To Beat Golovkin in Rematch Arum on Pacquiao Meeting and Lomachenko's Future Trainer: Whyte-Chisora II Should Be Next; Whyte's Options Limited Tyson Fury Vows To "Spank Deontay Wilder All Over Las Vegas!" David Allen Draws Up a 5 Man Hit-List: Price, Browne, Helenius Wilder: Joshua Damaged Name in U.S., I'll KO Fury in Mid-Rounds Paddy Barnes: Rosales Fight Will Define Me, Define My Career Jessie Vargas: I Can Face Broner in Rematch, Lamont Peterson British Title News: Askin-Okolie, Heffron, Skeete-Corcoran, More Video: Austin Trout Talks Canelo-Golovkin, Charlo, More Holmes emerging from brother's shadow with promotional push Roy Jones: Bivol Needs One or Two More Fights Before Alvarez Lebedev vs. Altunkaya on Sept. 7, Mikhalkin vs. Siaca on Sept. 15 Ruben Villa Back in Action on August 24 at The Doubletree Hotel Photos: Mayweather's Back To School Charity Draws Over 1,000 Lennox Lewis: Fury More Difficult To Beat Than Wilder, Joshua Wilder: Fury Will Be Tougher Fight For Me Than People Think Oscar Valdez Leaves Robles, Hires Eddy Reynoso as Trainer

Latest Active Forum Threads