Thurman shares experience with Nepali boxers

Kathmandu, June 27

American professional boxer Keith Thurman Jr shared his experience and lent some lessons during a motivational session for Nepali boxers here today.

Around 20 boxers attended the session at Total Physical Fitness where Thurman not only shared his experience but also interacted with the local players and posed with them for pictures. The boxers were seemingly happy to be with one of their best players.

Thurman, nicknamed ‘One Time,’ had nothing to do with his professional fighting in Nepal as he is here to marry his 24-year-old Nepali girlfriend Priyana Thapa. The two first met in Japan a year ago and spent time together before Thurman proposed to marry Thapa. They are tying nuptial knot on Thursday.

Nepal’s seven-time national champion Manohar ‘Max’ Basnet, the organiser of the first-ever professional boxing of the country — Champ of Champions — cashed in on the opportunity of Thurman’s visit in Nepal and convinced him for the motivational speech to his boxers and others at the Total Physical Fitness in New Baneshwor.

The unified welterweight world champion, having held the WBA title since 2013 (promoted to Super Champion in February 2017) and the WBC title since March 2017, Thurman believed that boxers are not born overnight and said one needed to perfect own particular techniques to win fights.

“Different boxers have their own techniques and they must perfect them through hard work as boxing is not an easy task,” said Thurman, who is known as a knockout artist and one of the hardest punchers in the welterweight division. “It needs a special type of heart and mind to be a boxer,” added Thurman had started boxing at the age of seven and got support from his family and school.

“In the beginning we had no gym and we trained in local parks as well as in basketball courts. We used to hold each other’s hands and two fighters used to fight inside the circle,” said Thurman. “As a title boy I loved martial arts but I got inspired to do boxing after watching the game. However, I took boxing as martial arts rather than just boxing. I used to watch movies of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and others which inspired me to become a good fighter,” added Thurman.

Thurman, who made his professional debut in 2007, holds a career record of 28-1. Among them, he won 22 bouts by knockouts and six by points, while remaining one bout was a no contest. “I had my first professional fight at the age of 18 and went on to win eight consecutive fights in first round knockouts. That’s the reason I was nicknamed One Time,” shared Thurman, who also won seven national level titles.

Thurman asked the Nepali boxers to work hard, train hard and fight hard to be successful in boxing. “One need to be very smart with the capacity of never giving up and being able to adapt the changes are must in boxing,” he said.

Thurman also shared his likes about the Kathmandu Valley. “I enjoy street foods in Nepal and also tried Panipuri as well as sweets,” said Thurman, who was amazed to see the valley without street lights. “The valley is very interesting place. It has lots of traffic, motorbikes and crazy traffic but nobody hit each other even in busy areas,” said Thurman.

Basnet, who had a one-minute exhibition bout with Thurman said the Nepali boxers were motivated after having a session with the American boxer. “It’s a great thing for us to have a player like Thurman. I am sure these players enjoyed the session with Thurman and they are motivated to do well in coming days,” said Basnet.