By Adam Baskin: Shawn Porter says Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is becoming a gatekeeper in the welterweight division due to his inactivity.
It wasn’t long ago when Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) was seen as the #1 fighter in the 147-lb division, but after just four fights in the last five years, he’s now viewed as a has-been by many boxing fans.
The 33-year-old Thurman looked good in his last fight, beating Mario Barrios by a 12 round unanimous decision last February.
However, that fight was seven months ago, and Thurman has nothing scheduled so far. It’s likely Thurman is now done for the year, as he has nothing scheduled.
“Keith put himself in that position,” said Shawn Porter to Fight Hub TV about Keith Thurman being viewed now as a gatekeeper. “I don’t think he put himself in that position on purpose.
“I’m speaking candidly. I do think he tried to control the business side of his career a little too much, and I think he tried to be a little too strategic. It backfired on him to a degree, but he had injuries and things that he couldn’t control.
“His time away from the ring kind of pushed him to the back, and he continued to push him to the back. Even in his comeback fights, they weren’t the old ‘One Time’ that were used to seeing.
“When you don’t see that old ‘One Time,’ it’s like, ‘Hey, who are you now? You’re a gatekeeper; you’re a has-been and things of that nature.’
“I said, ‘Keith, get back in the ring asap. It doesn’t matter who you get in the ring with. Get back in the ring asap.’ Okay, you don’t want to be a gatekeeper. Take on someone that is on the same level that you just fought with [Mario] Barrios, dominate that dude, say I’m ready for the big time.
“You can’t stay away for so long and expect people to still have that same respect for you. So it’s kind of is what it is. Do I think he’s a gatekeeper? No. Do I think he’s on the verge of becoming a gatekeeper? Yes, because of his inactivity.
“I think that’s what people are looking at. They’re looking at him not being the same guy. That’s what a gatekeeper is. A gatekeeper is a guy that was great but is not great anymore.
“I want to see Keith get one more fight, a tune-up fight. I think people need to respect him coming back, coming back from everything and get that last tune-up fight. Get it in asap, and then get ready to get in the ring with someone that is up there.
“If you’re not getting in the ring with them, then it’s got to be Boots, or Vergil Ortiz, or Stanionis. Keith is kind of becoming [a gatekeeper]. I’m a big fan of Keith, and I want to see him come back and have a great fruitful career. Not mediocre fights against mediocre guys,” said Porter.