Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Thurman: Give Me Four Years, I Can Make Jameis Winston A Contender

There’s a lot about Jameis Winston to which Keith Thurman can relate, which made for a pleasant recent gym session between the pair of Florida-based star athletes.

The two met at St. Pete Boxing Club in St. Petersburg, Florida, the humble facility where Thurman has trained from the moment he laced up his first pair of boxing gloves. This particular meeting was for Winston—a stud athlete in football and baseball in college at Florida State University and current NFL quarterback—to perform cross training, for which his team decided that boxing was the best fit.

It proved to be the perfect choice.

“It was a great day in the gym. It was a lovely experience,” Thurman (29-1, 22KOs) told of their extensive workout session on Thursday. “Winston is a tremendous young athlete. He’s still got room to grow but his workmanship was that of a true champion. It was a pleasure to have him in the gym.

“I felt like the gym has been blessed by another champion.”


A conscious decision was made by Winston—the 2013 NCAA Heisman Trophy and five-year quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers—to make the drive from Tampa to St. Pete, learning the craft straight out of a facility that has birthed three world champions. Ronald “Winky” Wright and Jeff Lacy both enjoyed overlapping title reigns during their respective primes earlier this century, while Thurman’s comeuppance came around the same time Winston enjoyed arguably his greatest year ever on the gridiron to date.

Thurman won a secondary welterweight title in 2013, just prior the start of the 2013 NCAA college football season that would see Winston lead Florida State to the national championship as a freshman. The Alabama-born baller earned Player of the Year honors while engineering a 34-31 win over Auburn in the National Championship game to cap a perfect 14-0 season.

Winston has gone on to shatter records both in college and in his five years with the Buccaneers. The hope is for the 26-year old to eventually produce the same kind of magic with the New Orleans Saints, where he will play this upcoming season. As for Thurman, his goal is to re-emerge as the leading welterweight in the world, having reigned as a full titlist since 2015, and as unified champ following a March 2017 win over then-unbeaten Danny Garcia (35-2, 21KOs). His overall reign and unblemished record came to a close following a narrow points loss to legendary Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs) in their title consolidation clash last July.

The parallels in the respective careers of Thurman and Winston aren’t just limited to their respective achievements in the ring or on the gridiron.

“His team is very strong. His right hand man goes by Coach O, he had him as a teenager into the pros. It reminds me of my Ben Getty story,” Thurman noted, fondly recalling his early years with his original trainer, who passed away on this very weekend in 2009. “I’m just real happy to see young athletes sticking with the people that got them there.

“Ben Getty always taught me, don’t forget where you come from. The people that helped you get there before you were worth a dollar, before you were worth a scholarship or any kind of paycheck of any sort, are always the ones who always believed in your abilities and skills. I’m just always glad, on boxing terms, that he has someone strong and dedicated like that in his corner throughout his career.”

While the hope for Winston is to make a splash with a new team, he at least heads to Louisiana with a new skill. It being his first attempt, naturally there remains a lot to work through. Should he ever choose to revisit, the door at the St. Pete Boxing Club will always be open for him.

“The funnest part about training him was that, I could’ve done anything. I could’ve thrown the whole booklet at him,” notes Thurman, who has trained under the watchful eye of Dan Birmingham for more than a decade. “That’s a real champion. Tremendous athlete ready to perform, ready to do it all. When you come across that kind of hard spirit and soul, it’s like all you need is a coach.

“Just the way that he worked and pushed and did the drills, and that never-give-up mindset, he was willing to go as hard as we were ready to push him. He was ready to work through the bell. He’s 26 year old. You give me four years and I can make him a heavyweight contender!”

For now, he’ll just settle for watching his friend enjoy a productive season in a new setting.

“He’s in shape already. I look forward to seeing what he does this upcoming season. Our house, our gym is always open and I hope to get the opportunity to work with him again. He seemed to really enjoy himself.”

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Robi13 on 05-30-2020

[QUOTE=emceetns;20586106]Professional athletes do cross-training all the time and plenty of people do boxing for fitness. It's not like Winston said he could beat Tyson Fury; he is just incorporating something extra to get ready for football season. Nothing wrong with…

Comment by emceetns on 05-30-2020

[QUOTE=Robi13;20585209]This that disrespect and that bs that people be doing... someone should phuck Winston up to show him to stay in his lane... clout chasin is all this bs is.... Keith should know better 🤦*♂️[/QUOTE] Professional athletes do cross-training all…

Comment by KayDub on 05-29-2020

[QUOTE=GrandLolo;20585347]Its not even close with Pacquiao. Competitive but def not close.[/QUOTE] The KD won Pac the fight. Without the KD the judge's would've even given to to Thurman.

Comment by GrandLolo on 05-29-2020

Its not even close with Pacquiao. Competitive but def not close.

Comment by Robi13 on 05-29-2020

This that disrespect and that bs that people be doing... someone should phuck Winston up to show him to stay in his lane... clout chasin is all this bs is.... Keith should know better 🤦*♂️

Top Headlines
Helenius Willing To Face Luis Ortiz or Andy Ruiz in Final Eliminator Daniel Dubois, Joe Joyce Set For Interim-Bouts Ahead of October Fight Carlos Takam vs. Jerry Forrest: The Value Of Eyeballs Arum Updates on Taylor-Khongsong, Fury-Wilder, Frampton, Conlan, Ramirez-Postol Lomachenko vs. Lopez Now Targeted For October 3, Says Arum Felix Verdejo Promises More Aggression, Punching Against Madera DiBella: Tagoe vs. Ryan Garcia Would Be Highly Competitive, Exciting Carlos Castro, Cesar Juarez - Set For Fireworks Clash Carlos Takam, Jerry Forrest - Ready For Battle in Las Vegas Takam-Forrest Weigh-In Report From Las Vegas Jared Anderson: I Want To Stay as Active as Possible in real Fights Jayson Velez Explains Why He Selected Oscar Valdez Over Chris Colbert MTK Global Card in Kazakhstan Postponed Due To Lockdown DAZN Offering Free Beta Version Test For Summer Boxing Shows Joseph Parker vs. Junior Fa - Teams Continue Heated Talks To Finalize Deal Dillian Whyte Splits Amicably With Trainer Mark Tibbs Jason Moloney: This Is Just The Beginning, Ready To Cause Mayhem Manager: Valdez Looking To Make Statement On July 21, Then Challenge Berchelt Josh Taylor: I'm Really Confident I'll Knock Ramirez Out, Take All The Belts Rethinking P4P: Trying to Measure Who Beat Who...and When Jose Zepeda Outboxes Kendo Castaneda For Decision Win Luis Alberto Lopez Stuns Andy Vences For Upset Win Miguel Cotto Aims To Stage Event on August 22 in Puerto Rico Cutman Capetillo Reveals Tyson Fury's Generous Gesture During Pandemic Jose Zepeda: Anybody With a Belt at 140 pounds is Who I Want To Fight Frank Warren Hopes His Fighters Aim To Impress at BT Sport Studios Whyte Rejects Idea of Step-Aside Deal To Allow Fury-Joshua Jose Zepeda Boxes Past a Game Kendo Castaneda Over Ten Jose Zepeda vs. Kendo Castaneda - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Luis Alberto Lopez Rocks, Shocks Andy Vences With Split Decision Andres Cortes Overcomes Knockdown, Beats Alejandro Salinas On Points Gabriel Muratalla Out-Boxes Sergio Lopez, Wins Four-Round Unanimous Decision Verdejo Pumped To Finally Return, Aims To Be Impressive Against Madera Pedraza: Hopefully Get to Cross Paths With Zepeda One Day Again Jose Zepeda: People Will See My Best Performance Against Castaneda Hearn "Working Hard" To Finalize Katie Taylor-Delfine Persoon Rematch Castaneda: Everybody Thinks I Suck At Boxing; Can't Wait To Show World What I'm About Herring-Oquendo, Mayer-Joseph Card Set Down For 'The Bubble' Golden Boy, Mayweather Promotions, Top Rank Applied For Forgivable Loans Amid Pandemic's Television Pick of The Week - July 7
Latest Forum Threads