Behind-the-scenes production manager known for his effervescent personality and 1,000-watt smile passed away at 62 on Thursday night.

They held a weigh-in for the Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter welterweight title fight at Barclays Center today. And while it was like thousands of other weigh-ins where boxers got on and off the scales to the cheers of supporters and fans, there was something missing—a void at Premier Boxing Championship fights that won’t ever be filled.

Skip Davis, the effervescent, ever-present production manager for Haymon Sports, passed away on Thursday night after a lengthy illness. He was 62-years old. He leaves behind three daughters and a grandson and a slew of friends, who will miss his kind spirit, can-do attitude, booming laugh and bright smile.

The weigh-in is where you would first likely run into Davis on fight weeks. He would take a break from the staging of the arena for the next night to come by and shake hands with friends and give fighters a hug and best wishes. If the weigh-in was being televised, Davis would be on stage making sure the fighters and their camps were in the right spot. Whether up front or behind the scenes, you couldn’t miss him. You would hear that laugh and scan the room until you found the guy with the biggest smile and that would be Davis.

Those who gathered for the Garcia-Porter weigh-in talked mainly about how they would miss that Skip Davis 1,000-watt smile, which lit up every room and every arena that he walked into.

“I will always remember his smile,” said Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment. “You know in this business there isn’t anybody that someone doesn’t say something bad about. But no one in this business had anything bad to say about Skip. He was universally loved by everybody. And that’s rare.”

“If you had anything bad to say about Skip then there was probably something wrong with you,” said trainer Barry Hunter.

You know in this business there isn’t anybody that someone doesn’t say something bad about. But no one in this business had anything bad to say about Skip. He was universally loved by everybody. And that’s rare. Promoter Lou DiBella on Skip Davis

Plucked from a Sacramento, California radio station where he was a DJ in the early 1980s by Al Haymon to help with the staging and production of the concerts he put on, Davis proved to be the right man for the job. He had an eye for detail and a drive to make sure the job was done right.

“Skip has been with Al for a long time,” said Sam Watson, who worked closely with Davis at Haymon Sports. “He’s handled all the production and behind the scenes staging for Al with all the big concerts for several years – like early on with the Budweiser Super Fest. So when we started with the PBC it was just natural that Skip would be the man to step in and take over the production for it. He was a good man. We all loved him.”

Gordon Hall, Senior VP of Production for Showtime Sports, worked closely with Davis on Showtime’s boxing programming. He said Davis brought a certain positive energy to every show.

“Skip was a can-do kind of guy,” said Hall. “He always worked hard to get the job done. Skip was one of the most positive people you’ve ever met. He just had this certain vibe about him. And that smile that he greeted everyone with. That’s what I remember most.”

Davis was instrumental in almost every aspect of producing the PBC shows. Marcos Villegas, a journalist who did research for some of the FS1 shows, said Davis went out of his way to be helpful to him.

“Skip was one of the few people, who without any gain for himself, would reach out to help me with the stuff I was doing for the FOX shows,” Villegas said. “It shocked me at first and it caught me off guard because most people aren’t like that. But that was his nature. He was just such a genuinely nice guy – a good man. He was always laughing and he always greeted me with a smile and a hug. That’s how I’ll remember him.”

Even as he battled his illness, Davis took time to call friends to check to see how they were doing. Just a few months ago he excitedly talked about a movie project that he was trying to launch about a daring bank robbery crew.

Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, who was at the weigh-in, said he talked with Davis two weeks ago about an FS1 show in Minneapolis, but did not realize just how sick he was. He summed up the feelings of all of Davis’ friends.

“When I heard he had passed I was devastated,” Margules said. “I’m proud to say he was my friend. He’s going to be greatly missed by everyone.”

Winner of tomorrow's 147-pound showdown on Showtime could very likely be next in line for a title shot against Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter winner.

Right below the elite of the welterweight division, there’s a jam-packed group of talent just itching for their chance at breaking through to the next level. Count Yordenis Ugas and Cesar Barrionuevo among this pack of high-end fighters with dreams of world conquest.

This Saturday, these two top 147-pound contenders battle in a WBC title eliminator as part of a Premier Boxing Champions tripleheader, headlined by Danny Garcia vs Shawn Porter, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The winner could very likely be next in line for a shot at the Garcia-Porter winner.

Cuba’s Ugas (22-3, 11 KOs), a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, defected to the United States in 2010 and has been making his name in the pro ranks as a skilled boxer with more than a touch of battler in him.

Three losses at junior welterweight prompted Ugas to take some time away from the sport, regroup, rebuild, and begin anew at welterweight.

Since his 147-pound rebirth, the former amateur standout is 7-0 with 4 knockouts, holding victories over fellow contenders such as Jamal James, Levan Ghvamichava, Thomas Dulorme, and Ray Robinson.

The 32-year-old, who now resides in Miami, is smart, well-schooled, and adaptive in the ring. He works the body well and diligently. He has a tendency to throw wide shots, but superb positioning and good reflexes help keep him out of trouble from possible counters.

Like most well-schooled fighters, he likes an orderly, structured contest and will pick opponents apart if allowed his preferred distance and pace.

Ugas can be outworked, though, and has shown moments of difficulty with opposition hand speed and movement. An opponent would also be greatly served by working to muck things up and throw Ugas off his rhythm. It remains to be seen whether he can fight effectively in an ugly in-the-trenches war.

But the native of Santiago de Cuba knows that his strength lies in his world stage experience and he expects that to be a deciding factor in this upcoming bout.

“Everyone who knows boxing knows I’m the more experienced fighter,” Ugas said. “This is one of his first times he’s fighting outside Argentina. I know he’s a big deal there, but he’s never seen a stage like this, with all the bright lights. I’m going to be prepared for the best Argentine fighter that shows up that night.”

Barrionuevo (34-3-2, 24 KOs), meanwhile, is a fighter who counts on his one-punch power and mental toughness to trump anything and everything an opponent may have going for him.

The 29-year-old southpaw from Salta, Argentina has a legitimately heavy left hand and, throughout his career thus far, it has been his primary weapon. Whether it comes in the form of a hook, uppercut, or overhand blast, when Barrionuevo’s left hand connects, it causes real damage.

The problem may be that, with such a potent one-shot weapon, he really hasn’t had to develop much else as he rose to prominence in his home country.

Barrionuevo flicks out a meaningless jab that is more range finder than weapon and he has bouncy, on-his-toes footwork that has become less prominent in recent fights. His right hand is there and there is some pop to it, but “La Joya (The Jewel)” is all about that left. All things considered, it would be fair to say that Argentina’s welterweight champ is pretty much a one-armed fighter.

This will only be his second fight outside of his home country and his first in the United States, but the heavy-handed battler is working on a 5-year, 10-fight win streak and is eager to reestablish Argentina’s presence on the world stage. Ideally, he’d like to pick up where countrymen like Sergio Martinez, Marcos Maidana, and Lucas Matthysse left off.

“I’m not coming to Brooklyn as a tourist,” Barrionuevo asserted. “I’m coming to fight and get the victory in spectacular fashion and to put Argentina back on the map in the sport of boxing. The objective is to look good and win and to leave a good impression fighting on Showtime and for everyone watching.”

Ugas-Barrionuevo will come down to the classic boxing questions posed by class vs. crash contests. Will Ugas, the classier fighter with the more refined style and world-class experience be able to execute his game plan against an unorthodox southpaw with a gigantic left hand who is looking to, first and foremost, inflict damage? Can Barrionuevo box well enough to keep the fight close so that one shot, out of the blue, is not his only hope for victory?

Conventional wisdom could lead one to believe that Ugas has the greater chance of emerging victorious this coming Saturday. But the Cuban is not exactly a paragon of defensive excellence at all times. He does get hit and he gets hit flush too often for a fighter reared in the Cuban amateur system. It’ll only take one Ugas slip-up for Barrionuevo to touch him with that big left hand. And, as his resume indicates, what Barrionuevo can touch, he can hurt.

The former champion Martin promises fans will see the best version of himself yet—but the undefeated contender from Brooklyn doesn't plan on letting his hometown supporters down.

The last time Charles Martin fought at Barclays Center, he left the arena with the IBF heavyweight title.

The powerful southpaw didn’t win that vacant title exactly the way he would’ve wanted, as Vyacheslav Glazkov couldn’t continue after suffering a devastating knee injury in the third round. His technical-knockout victory over the injured Ukrainian in January 2016 still made Martin a player within the heavyweight division and gave the then-unbeaten title-holder an opportunity to make millions of dollars.

Two-and-a-half years later, Martin will return to the venue in Brooklyn, New York tomorrow night as a besmirched former champion determined to restore his reputation. Undefeated Adam Kownacki, Martin’s opponent in a 10-round bout on a Showtime-televised card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT), will be Martin’s most formidable foe since his poor performance in a second-round knockout loss to Anthony Joshua in April 2016 at O2 Arena in London.

Joshua knocked Martin down twice with right hands. Martin seemed more surprised than hurt, yet took too much time to get up from the second knockdown, which caused referee JeanPierre Van Imschoot to stop the action at 1:32 of the second round.

The mercurial Martin has endured harsh, constant criticism since Joshua beat him. He intends to re-establish himself as a credible contender and sway some of those detractors who’ve excoriated him for not putting up a better fight against England’s Joshua.

“I haven’t put on display what I can really do in this sport,” Martin said. “I’m just here to show people that I’m legit and I’m real. That’s what I’m gonna do September 8th. I’ve gotta prove all the haters wrong. I’ve got some stuff to prove, so that’s what it is.”

Martin took his recently completed training camp very seriously in Big Bear Lake, California.

He sparred there with hard-hitting British prospect Joe Joyce and contender Andy Ruiz. His dubious loss to Joshua motivated Martin to change his approach to preparing for fights.

“I’m more mature,” Martin said. “I’m grown. I’m a grown man, so we’re ready. When I get in the ring, when I go to camp and I’m training, I’m serious about what I do. I’m taking my craft serious. That’s what’s different — I’ve grown.”

Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) will end a 13-month layoff when he enters the ring Saturday night. The St. Louis native hasn’t fought since stopping journeyman Mike Marrone in the first round of a July 2017 bout in Alexandria, Louisiana.

I haven’t put on display what I can really do in this sport. I’m just here to show people that I’m legit and I’m real. I’ve gotta prove all the haters wrong. Former Heavyweight World Champ Charles Martin

Against Kownacki, Martin must figure out how to neutralize his opponent’s persistent pressure.

Kownacki’s flabby body gives the appearance that he isn’t in shape, yet he throws a lot of punches, particularly for a heavyweight. The 6-feet-3, 260-pound Pole never stops moving forward, either, and has displayed a granite chin on his way to 17-0, including 14 knockouts.

The 6-feet-5, 250-pound Martin probably will be the strongest opponent of Kownacki’s seven-year pro career, which might make the 29-year-old contender more mindful of defense than usual.

“He’s just a good fighter,” Martin said. “He has heart. I’m preparing for everything he can possibly think of. That’s what we’re working hard for. I’m coming to minimize everything and that’s what we’re working on.”

However he fights Saturday night, Kownacki hasn’t taken Martin lightly just because the 32-year-old ex-champion’s career has taken a downward turn in the 2½ years since he stopped Glazkov (21-1-1, 13 KOs).

“As you all see, Charles Martin is very focused,” Kownacki said. “So I’m prepared for the best Charles Martin that he brings. And if I could beat the best Charles Martin, I think I deserve a title shot, you know? So that’s the focus I’m going in [with]. I’m looking at Charles Martin as if he still has the title, as if he is the champion, so I’m getting ready.

“I’m sparring a lot, running, doing my workouts. I’m looking at him as if he is still a champion, so beating him I think puts me in line for a title shot. What else is there to prove? I beat a contender [Artur Szpilka in July 2017]. Now if I beat a former world champion, getting a shot at a world title would be I think the next step in my career.”

The Brooklyn-based Kownacki, who figures to have a large faction of the crowd on his side Saturday night, has knocked out Georgia’s Iago Kiladze (26-3, 18 KOs) and Poland’s Szpilka (21-3, 15 KOs) in his past two fights. Martin is certain, however, that he’ll halt Kownacki’s march toward a title shot.

“I’m just gonna win, man,” Martin said. “I’m coming to win. I’m coming to make a statement, man, devastation.”

Martin refrained from forecasting how he’ll beat Kownacki.

“No predictions,” Martin said. “You’re gonna see. I like to prove it. I like to show. I’m from the ‘Show Me State.’ No predictions.”

For a closer look at Kownacki vs Martin, check out our fight page.

View Joe Joyce Profile

Joe "'Juggernaut'" Joyce

Unbeaten Polish-born, Brooklyn-raised heavyweight talks about Saturday's fight against former champ Charles Martin, what it's like to fight in his hometown at Barclays Center and what it would mean to become Poland’s first heavyweight titleholder.

Adam Kownacki’s nickname, “Babyface,” belies his brutish tenacity in the ring. The 6-foot-3 Polish-born, Brooklyn-raised resident will pursue his fifth-straight stoppage against once-beaten former titleholder Charles Martin  (25-1-1, 23 KOs) this Saturday night during a PBC on Showtime card (6 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT) at Barclays Center.

The 29-year-old Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) is 6-0 with four knockouts at Barclays, where he’s coming off a sixth-round stoppage of Iago Kiladze in January that followed his KO victory over Artur Szpilka at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island last summer.

Hoping to secure a first-round stoppage of the 32-year-old 6-foot-6 Martin, Kownacki’s sparred with 6-foot-6, 265-pound southpaw Zhilei Zhang (19-0, 15 KOs), a 2008 Chinese Olympic silver medalist with eight straight stoppage victories.

A Brooklyn resident since childhood, Kownacki earned New York Golden Gloves championships in 2006 and 2009 in addition to finishing second in 2007 and 2008 as an amateur.

Kownacki has sparred with Wladimir Klitschko and has made a steady climb up the heavyweight contender ladder as a pro.

What will it be like returning to Brooklyn and Barclays for the seventh time?

I love fighting at Barclays. It's like my second home. I came to Brooklyn in 1996 at the age of 7 from Lomza, Poland.

My parents received green cards and left Poland for America to provide a better life for my brother and me. I’m excited and I can’t wait.

Were you happy with your performance in your last fight at Barclays – the sixth-round KO of Iago Kiladze?

I thought I would have done better, being a little too anxious to get a quick knockout within the first two rounds. I felt like I was throwing a lot of unnecessary punches.

But by the third round, I was moving my head more, blocking and rolling with his punches more. I took over the fight from there.

Looking back, every experience is a good experience. That’s what life is about. I’m improving every day, and that fight was a big part of my progression.

Can you re-cap your Szpika KO and the magnitude of your victory?

It was a life-changing moment. My goal was to make a statement by stopping him faster than anybody. I did that. Szpilka was coming forward against Wilder, but I had seen from his fights he had trouble when you back him up with pressure.

He was open for me to land the punches I wanted to. My left eye was swollen after two rounds from Szpilka’s right cross, but in spite of that, I continued to pressure him. In the fourth round, my right hand drew blood from Szpilka’s nose.

I noticed he was getting tired. I whispered into his ear, “Are you remembering the Wilder fight?” He was shocked. His eyes went wide, like, “What the [expletive] he talking about?” I hit him with a right. He dropped his hands and backed up.

I landed cleanly from there. He was defenseless. The referee stopped the fight at the right time. I knocked him out like I knew I would. Style-wise, he was perfect for me. I had to prove that I’m the best of the Polish heavyweight fighters, which is definitely a step up.

I'm a man on a mission to become the first Polish, Polish-American heavyweight champion of the world. When my [handlers] say the time is right, I’ll be ready. Unbeaten heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki

Have you had any notable sparring for Martin?

I’ve been sparring with Zhilei Zhang, a former Olympic silver medalist as a superheavyweight who has been helping me out. He’s a big, 6-foot-6 southpaw who has got a 19-0 record and he’s a former Olympic silver medalist.

We thought it was going to be very difficult to find someone to match the stature of Charles Martin, but there’s been a lot of sparring and he’s given me a lot of good work, so he’s been perfect.

What do you know about Charles Martin and what he does well?

Well, Charles is a big counter-puncher and he has a high knockout ratio, so I know his punching power is there. But he fights scared, pulling back his head every time he throws punches.

If you look at my fights, I’m coming forward and in position to land another punch. Martin’s a southpaw, but Szpilka was more of a mover than Martin, who likes to fight more stationary but from distance.

Of course, if you’ve been watching my fights, Marin has a reason to be scared. I fight with intensity, because my goal is to become a heavyweight champion, so that’s what I’m focused on.

Do you feel that you can out-do Anthony Joshua with a first-round knockout of Martin?

I took out Szpilka in less than half the time that Deontay Wilder took him out, so that means to top Joshua I’d have to get Martin out of there in the first round.

I don’t think Martin will be able to deal with my pressure, so I’m going to try to do that, but it will be hard. I’m extremely focused. I don’t see him lasting more than six rounds. We’ll see.

How do you rank the top heavyweights, 1-through-5?

In my eyes, I would say I’m No. 1, with No. 2 being Deontay Wilder. Anthony Joshua’s No. 3, Luis Ortiz is fourth, and I’ll close it out with my boy, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.

Would you ever fight your friend Jarrell Miller?

Jarrell and I have sparred so many times, and we’re close friends. Jarrell’s been at my fights, and he was one of the first people to congratulate me after I beat Szpilka.

I would fight him, but it would have to make sense and be for something very prestigious, like if we had both belts around our waists.

What would it mean to become Poland’s first heavyweight titleholder, simultaneously joining Brooklyn’s line of champions Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer and Shannon Briggs?

I embrace the chance to become the first Polish heavyweight champion and to continue Brooklyn’s legacy. I’m improving every time out, but every fight is tough. I think, realistically, I’ll have to wait to see what’s going on with Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin, and Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury.

In the meantime, all I can do is focus on my training, winning my fights and staying ready, and when the call comes, I’ll be there. But we’ll see. I'm a man on a mission to become the first Polish, Polish-American heavyweight champion of the world. When my [handlers] say the time is right, I’ll be ready.

For a closer look at Adam Kownacki, check out his fighter page.

Arena that brought professional championship boxing back to Brooklyn for the first time since 1931 has hosted 15 PBC events since 2015—including this Saturday's Danny Garcia vs Shawn Porter title fight.

BROOKLYN — Premier Boxing Champions, the world-renowned boxing series created for television, has named Barclays Center as the official East Coast home of the PBC.
 
Barclays Center will host PBC’s biggest and best fights, with the first fight as part of the alliance slated for December, details of which will be announced in the coming months. BROOKLYN BOXING, and its digital home at brooklynboxingshop.com, will also activate at all PBC events nationwide with ring mat branding. 
 
Through the alliance, BROOKLYN BOXING, Barclays Center’s boxing franchise, will receive unprecedented promotion and exposure to boxing fans around the globe through PBC television outlets FOX, FS1, and Showtime, further cementing Barclays Center as the leading boxing venue in North America.
 
PBC, a live boxing series created by Haymon Sports, LLC, showcases boxing’s best and brightest stars with a roster that includes a collection of world champions from bantamweight to heavyweight.
 
Barclays Center has hosted 15 PBC events, which is more than any other venue worldwide. Notable moments include welterweight Keith Thurman’s victories over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter, and this year’s contender for fight of the year in heavyweight Deontay Wilder’s March 3 victory over Luis Ortiz.
 
“Barclays Center is proud to be the official East Coast home of the PBC,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “As our commitment to the sport expands, boxing has truly become another anchor franchise at the venue. In fact, today’s announcement guarantees a minimum of eight fights annually at Barclays Center, bringing many more unforgettable moments to our ring.”
 
“Premier Boxing Champions is excited to call Barclays Center its official East Coast home,’’ said Tim Smith, Vice President of Communications for Haymon Sports. “Barclays Center has become synonymous with superb boxing events and PBC is thrilled to continue its relationship with the arena and add to that growing legacy.’’
 
In 2012, Barclays Center brought professional championship boxing back to Brooklyn for the first time since 1931. Under its BROOKLYN BOXING™ programming franchise, the venue has hosted 29 professional boxing events with more than 250 bouts and 55 Title fights. Its 30th major boxing card will be held on September 8, which will feature Garcia and Porter contending for the vacant WBC World Welterweight title. Barclays Center will continue to work with boxing providers across the sport to bring the best fights to the borough.
 
“It feels great to headline the 30th fight night at Barclays Center after also opening the building,” said Garcia. “Barclays Center is the best thing to happen to boxing in a long time. It's a blessing to fight somewhere with that kind of atmosphere. It could have been anybody but they've given me the opportunity.”
 
“I have never performed in front of any better crowd than the fans at Barclays Center. For this to be my fifth fight there, and their 30th fight in the building, it makes it even more special, on top of it being for a championship title,” said Porter. “I feel at home in Brooklyn and always feel respected and appreciated for what I have accomplished. I know that when I go to Barclays Center, there will be people rooting for me and I am looking forward to a good show.”

To commemorate the venue’s 30th boxing event, BROOKLYN BOXING has been releasing highlight videos throughout the week, celebrating each year of fights hosted at the venue. Videos can be found on BROOKLYN BOXING’s social feeds (2012 & 2013, 2014 & 2015, 2016, and 2017).

For more info on Barclays Center and upcoming fights, check out its website.

Angel Garcia and Kenny Porter—fathers and trainers of Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter—are always willing to stand up for their sons, but who would win in a hypothetical fight between them? PBC Jabs investigates.

This week on PBC Jabs, we preview our September 8th Showtime show, welterweight champ Keith Thurman gives his predictions for Garcia-Porter and we asked Angel Garcia and Kenny Porter—fathers of Danny and Shawn—who would win a hypothetical fight between them.

On Saturday, September 8th PBC returns to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for a night stacked with action. The night begins with streaming coverage at 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT on Showtime Championship Boxing Countdown as five-division world champ Amanda Serrano attempts to win a world title in her record sixth weight class for the WBO 140-pound belt. Then, tune in to Showtime at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT as Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas and Argentina’s Cesar Barrionuevo meet in a welterweight eliminator. Plus, you won’t want to miss some heavyweight action as unbeaten Polish slugger Adam Kownacki faces former heavyweight champ Charles Martin. And in the main event, welterweight stars Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter battle for the vacant WBC 147-pound title.

One man who will definitely be watching the fight closely is WBA welterweight champ Keith “One Time” Thurman. Thurman, who has faced—and defeated—both Garcia and Porter, offered his thoughts and prediction on the upcoming title fight in an exclusive PBC story. Click here see what he had to say.

Finally, Angel Garcia and Kenny Porter—trainers and fathers of Danny and Shawn—are both very vocal when it comes to supporting their sons. But, what if Angel and Kenny stepped in the ring to face each other? Who would win? Well, we asked them. Watch this week's episode to hear what they had to say.

That’s all for this episode of PBC Jabs. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time as we continue to bring you the best in boxing!

WBA welterweight champion discusses his victories over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter and how he thinks Saturday night's WBC title fight on Showtime breaks down.

Unbeaten welterweight champion Keith Thurman plans to be ringside when former welterweight champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter meet Saturday night on a Showtime-televised card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

It will be bittersweet for Thurman. While he enjoys the atmosphere at Barclays Center for a big welterweight championship fight, he won’t be in the ring this time.

Instead, he will be watching two men that he has already vanquished as they fight for a world title belt that he once wrapped around his waist. Thurman defeated Porter by a close unanimous decision in 2016. He narrowly defeated Garcia by split decision in March 2017. Inactivity brought on by a laundry list of injuries forced Thurman to give up the WBC title, which he won against Garcia.

Thurman hasn’t fought since.

Though he remains undefeated and still has the WBA crown, Thurman has watched his status as the top man in the welterweight division slip. That distinction now belongs to Errol Spence Jr., the IBF champion. And the winner of Garcia-Porter will probably slip in behind Spence. That means Thurman, who is training for a comeback fight, will have two major challenges to overcome if he wants to get that No. 1 spot in the welterweight division again.

Don’t expect Thurman to give a concession speech to Spence regarding the top spot in the welterweight division.

“Errol’s willing to compete with the best, and I believe he’s a tremendous fighter who is ranked No. 2 for good reason, and I know he wants to have that No. 1 position,” Thurman said. “Does Errol Spence deserve the No. 1 spot because Keith Thurman’s inactive? There’s a part of me that feels a little bit bad about that. But Keith Thurman has accomplished more than any other welterweight has when it comes to this new generation of welterweight champions. I fought for this position, but if they wanted to kick me out of it and make me fight for it again, you know that I would. I can care less about the rankings or what people are saying.”

Not only has Thurman experienced physical difficulties due to his injuries but the inactivity has had an effect on him mentally as well. Thurman had surgery on his right elbow and then he injured his hand in training.

“This has been very devastating for me. I’ve had moments of depression during this interval. It’s been a heartache at times,” Thurman said. “I’ve accomplished a lot in the sport, yet, we’re at a standstill. It can be very frustrating but I have a lot of love and support and a great team.

“Everybody just wants me to be healthy. I just wanna be injury free and get back to work and have a few more good years at the top and let that be it. I love the sport of boxing, and I miss it very much. I look forward to being in action and when I do get back, I look forward to reminding and showing the world why Keith Thurman is the No. 1 welterweight.”

I honestly love this fight, and I consider it one of the best matchups of the year. Having fought both of them, I do believe that each of them is capable of hurting the other and getting one another out of there. Welterweight Champ Keith Thurman

Thurman is working out at his St. Petersburg, Florida gym, but there hasn’t been an official announcement of his comeback fight. Until then he is just like other boxing fans. But unlike other boxing fans, he has special insight into the Garcia-Porter fight.

“I honestly love this fight, and I consider it a tremendous battle and one of the best matchups of the year,” he said. “For me, having fought both of them, I do believe that each of them is capable of hurting the other and getting one another out of there.

“I know most fans are going to lean toward Danny Garcia with his knockout power and the potential for that, but I’m taking Shawn Porter by decision. Shawn’s got a decent punch, even though he focuses on his output more than his one-punch solid blow and has it in his arsenal to hurt Danny Garcia.”

Thurman doesn’t see a scenario where Garcia knocks out Porter. He thinks size will be a factor in that.

“Going back to the amateurs, Shawn has always competed as and against bigger fighters, basically middleweights,” Thurman said.

“Danny’s always been smaller than Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. I just think that, being a pressure fighter and his athleticism and with Danny moving backwards, like he did against Brandon Rios, a performance I didn’t like, minus the knockout, Shawn Porter’s not a Brandon Rios. Shawn is much more intense.”

There are a lot of variables to a fight between two highly-skilled welterweights in a championship match and one of the intangibles that Thurman looks at is confidence. He believes there are moments in the fight that Garcia might lack in.

“I think Danny has a small confidence issue. I noticed it in my fight and the Lucas Matthysse fight,” Thurman said. “Danny’s confidence came when Lucas Matthysse was bleeding. Once that happened, he was like, ‘Oh, I can hurt this guy.’ But he didn’t have that emotion at the start of the fight.

“When I hit Danny Garcia from the start of the fight, it took him many rounds before he started listening to his Dad and taking chances and trying to win a world title. But from round one, between Shawn and I, you could tell that both of us were trying to win the title and be the champion of the world that day. In our fight, Danny Garcia and I were both champions, but I felt like I was trying to win a title. I didn’t see that same kind of intensity from Danny Garcia.”

To see more on Keith "One Time" Thurman, check out his fighter page.

Unified super welterweight champion talks about rehabbing from shoulder surgery, who he wants to face next and whether he has finally moved out of his parents’ house.

Unified 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd has returned to training after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder in June. He is keeping his eye on the winner of Julian Williams vs Takeshi Inoue fight, and unifications against other 154-pound champions Jermell Charlo and Jaime Munguia.

The 27-year-old Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) envisions an ultimate rise into the 160-pound division, but for now he still has business at 154 pounds.

Despite the rotator cuff injury prior to his last fight in April, Hurd scored a final-round knockdown during a split-decision win over Erislandy Lara in a title unification fight.

By defeating Lara, Hurd, of Accokeek, Maryland, won the sixth unification fight in the division’s history, joining Alvarez and Hall of Famers Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Terry Norris and Winky Wright as the only boxers to unify 154-pound titles.

Hurd was 15 when he first entered a boxing gym at the urging of his father, Fred Sr. He earned his nickname “Swift” by quickly rising to the championship ranks in his brief career. He has evolved into a sharpshooter and brawler with a powerfully proficient inside game. 

How has your rehabilitation been going?

We have about four more weeks of physical therapy, but I’m back in the gym, ready to rock and roll. During the Lara camp, with the pain in my shoulder, I couldn’t do pushups or dips.

But now, I’m able to do pushups without any pain, and my power and strength have improved. All together there was six weeks of inactivity where I picked up a little weight.

Do you feel that the time off has been beneficial?

Definitely, I do, because it also gave me some time to heal and take some time off for some much-deserved fun, going to New Orleans, Atlanta, Los Angeles. Overall, I feel like the break was helpful.

Can you discuss the substance of your career opponents, your aggressive pace and growth toward becoming a champion?

I’ve already had some great matchups, but I was the underdog in most of my televised fights. I was the underdog against Galarza, for sure, but maybe it was more 50-50 against Harrison and Molina.

Then again, Molina might have been favored being that he was an Olympian.

I was probably the underdog taking the optional defense against Trout, but I rose to the occasion and stopped him for the first time just as I said I would. Then I unified against Lara in an epic fight against a guy many people avoided and who later could be a Hall of Famer.

Do you feel as if you are peaking right now, or is the best still yet to come?

I’m still young so this is just the beginning. I have a ton of fight left in me. There are some really great potential matches up at 160 once I move up.

I definitely plan on continuing to fight the best because that’s the only way that someone like me truly feels as if I’m challenged, so my future looks bright.

I definitely wanna fight Jermell Charlo. I know Jermell Charlo is going to fight with emotion, and that’s going to make him an easier fight than Trout or Lara, both southpaws. Unified Super Welterweight Champion Jarrett Hurd

Is it your understanding that you’re in line for a mandatory defense against the winner between Williams and Inoue?

I haven’t seen much on Inoue, but from what I do know, I think Williams is the better fighter and wins that fight. Whoever the winner is, though, I plan on beating him in dramatic fashion.

Williams is a good boxer, and if he comes with a good game plan against me, I can see myself still winning a unanimous decision. But if he comes in and brings the fight to me, I can see myself stopping him.

Would your next target after the mandatory be Jermell Charlo?

I definitely wanna fight Jermell Charlo. I know Jermell Charlo is going to fight with emotion, and that’s going to make him an easier fight than Trout or Lara, both southpaws. Before Jermell fought Austin Trout and beat him by decision, all you heard from him is that he wanted to fight me.

But after he beat Trout, and the way I beat Trout, I haven’t heard too much from him about wanting to fight me. I’ve said things to try to hype up the fight, but lately, he hasn’t responded. Hopefully the Jermell Charlo fight’s one that can be made sometime during 2019, because I know I can definitely stop him.

How does it feel to have unified at 154, joining Alvarez, Trinidad, De La Hoya, Norris and Wright as the only boxers to do so?

That’s definitely a great accomplishment, but I’m far from done yet and I haven’t reached my full potential. That’s down the road for me, and I’m still learning on the job.

Right now, I’m trying to become the undisputed champion at 154 pounds by somewhere in the summer of 2019. If I’m not undisputed by then, I think it’ll be time to move up to 160.

Have you envisioned fighting Alvarez, Jacobs, Charlo or Golovkin?

I’ve been focused mostly on 154, but I do see myself beating all of those guys. Canelo was once at 154, and I’ve watched some of his film and envisioned fighting him because he fought Trout and Lara like I did. 

I felt like he would have been my toughest competition at 154 outside of Lara. But now that I’ve beaten Lara, and Canelo’s at 160, I feel like I’m the best at 154.

I believe that out of Jacobs, Charlo, Alvarez and Golovkin, the easiest one for my style would be Danny Jacobs. Second would be Jermall Charlo. The toughest out of all of them would be Golovkin.

Finally, have you made any progress toward moving out of your parents’ house?

I’m still living with my parents despite saying I would move out after becoming champion, but I’ve been taking care of some other things, business-wise, like getting my clothing line ready.

I know it’s about that time to start looking for a house, but my parents and I get along so well that I’m not in a rush. So, for now, the house is on the back burner. 

I’m feeling like maybe after my next fight it’ll be time it might be time to move out, but I’m not even going to say that. It’s sort of like, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

For a closer look at Jarrett Hurd, check out his fighter page.

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