Maybe Keith Thurman cutting his trademark ponytail brought out the killer instinct in him. His recent outburst of rage, however, was probably brought on more by comments promoter Bob Arum made regarding Team Thurman’s attempts to secure a Terence Crawford title fight.
The aged promoter recently talked about Thurman’s effort to secure a bout with his fighter on Barbershop Conversations, intimating that Thurman would be hard pressed to even get half of his supposed asking price.
That, of course, didn’t sit well with the former welterweight champ.
“F**k Bob Arum,” Thurman said via live stream on Instagram. “Why you talking sh**, Bob? You want a cheap a** fight? I’ll punch you in your sh** for free. How about that? That’s the only cheap a** shit you’re gonna get outta me.
“Bob, you a piece of sh**. You one of the worst f****n’ promoters in the game. All of your great fighters left your a**. Oscar De La Hoya left your ass. Floyd Mayweather left your ass. Manny Pacquiao left your a**…Crawford, he about to leave your a**.
“Bob, you know what’s up…It ain’t my fault you can’t afford a great fight. You cheap as sh**. You can barely pay your own fighters good money. That ain’t my fault. You got ESPN backing you, you got Terence Crawford, one of the most talented fighters in the welterweight division, and you can’t get him paid. You can’t make him famous enough.
“And now you mad ‘cause…you can’t afford a PBC fighter. You can’t afford us, Bob. I’m sorry. You cheap. You want f*****’ discounts. I know it’s COVID, I know it’s hard out here in the streets. We all feel it, we all know it. But you ain’t about to get me on no discount. You ain’t gonna pay no full price, but you ain’t getting no discount.
“You’re a horrible f*****’ promoter. You got all this talent and you can’t do sh** with it…
“Ain’t gonna be no fight. You can’t afford it. You offered Shawn Porter $1 million dollars. What’s $1 million dollars after taxes? 600,000. Man, get the f*** out our face, Bob!
“…It ain’t my fault that I’m an opponent and I’m worth more money than your champion, your undefeated welterweight champion. That ain’t my fault, that’s your fault, Bob. That’s your fault, Bob. That’s evidence of you doing a sh***y a** job, Bob.”
Boxing writing cliché dictates that “shots fired” should be said after this kind of outburst and then there’d be some sort of discussion about how, now, for sure, the fight in question has to be made. But that wouldn’t be reality.
In this real boxing world, Thurman’s social media rage probably makes a Crawford fight even more out of reach. Arum holds grudges and doesn’t ever respond favorably to public power plays or callouts. He also, as he’s said several times previously, doesn’t care all that much about what the fans want. If anything, Thurman’s outburst shut the door on any possibility of doing business with Arum anytime soon.
What the 32-year-old Thurman really needs to focus on is staying health, getting back to the ring, and turning in more complete performances befitting his natural ability. He turned in a solid, albeit losing, performance against Manny Pacquiao in his last fight in July of 2019, but hasn’t shined in the ring since, arguably, his 2016 victory over Shawn Porter.
All the mean talk is entertaining, but Thurman needs to start fighting more with his fists than his words.