Six strings for ‘One Time’: Keith Thurman finds peace of mind with the guitar

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Earlier this year, we learned that waterfowl love the sound of Keith “One Time” Thurman’s musical stylings almost as much as they do bread from strangers and pimping auto insurance. (Everybody, all together now: “Aflac!”)

Keith Thurman

Ducks dig Keith Thurman's flute skills. But that's not the only instrument he plays. (Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions)

If you need a reminder of just how much ducks dig Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs), check out the video below.

Thurman’s instrumental prowess doesn’t end with the flute, though. He’s also a burgeoning guitar player.

It all began when Thurman was in his early 20s.

A group of his buddies played, and when they hung out, Thurman started to pick up the basics. Before long, he had a Fender of his own.

One of the first songs he learned was a Red Hot Chili Peppers jukebox staple.

“As I soon as I could get the F chord down, I was rocking out to some ‘Californication,’” he says proudly, citing the group among his favorites.

Thurman’s a beast in the ring, but he can be a Zen-like presence outside of it.

Playing guitar is one of the ways he clears his mind, balancing the intensity that the sport of boxing necessitates.

“Music is like a side hobby for me,” he says. “It can be very relaxing. Everybody can relate to music in some shape and some form.”

So, who are some of his greatest guitar-god inspirations?

“Just like boxing, I feel like you’ve got to look at the history,” he says. “Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain. Early on, I was enjoying some Weezer, 311.”

Thurman says that he’s long been musically inclined, all the way back to fifth grade, when he got ahold of that parental torture device known as the recorder.

Most kids used the thing as a way to make the most horrible sound this side of a baby seal’s death pangs. Thurman took it seriously, though.

“I was able to sight read,” he recalls. “I could just play as I read the music from an early age.”

Nowadays, music is a different kind of outlet for him, something calming and restorative.

So, if Thurman could jam with anyone, who would it be?

“Any Marley would be fun to play with,” he says, fun being the operative word here. “I told myself when I got into it that I wasn’t going to put a lot of pressure on myself.”

Yeah, that’s what the other dude in the ring is for.

Right, Luis Collazo?

For complete coverage of Thurman vs Collazo, visit our fight page.

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