“I Grew up Embodying That”: Former Unified Welterweight World Champion Does Impressions of Gervonta Davis, Deontay Wilder and Pernell Whitaker

Published 07/05/2023, 1:00 PM EDT

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Former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman has seen his highs and lows. Although his only loss came at the hands of the legendary Manny Pacquiao back in 2019, he has not been able to make a strong footing in the division. However, this might all change as ‘One Time’ looks to make a return to the squared circle this year.

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Despite the challenges posed by a lengthy period of inactivity, Thurman remains determined to reclaim his position among boxing’s elite also recently giving his take on the upcoming bout between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr. In addition, the former champion also has admiration for fellow fighters such as Deontay Wilder, ‘Sweet Pea’ Pernell Whitaker, and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis all of whom he feels are similar to him stylistically.

Keith Thurman reveals similarities between him, Gervonta Davis, and Deontay Wilder

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In a recent appearance on the Last Stand Podcast, Thurman’s passion for the ‘sweet science’ is evident in his admiration for fighters who embody raw power and ferocity. Reflecting on his own journey, he draws parallels to the titanic force of the ‘one-time’ knockout punch that he grew up idolizing. Observing the meteoric rise of Davis and Wilder, Thurman found himself captivated by ‘Tank’ and ‘The Bronze Bomber’s’ relentless pursuit to land a KO blow. Wilder’s ability to deliver bone-crushing blows and send opponents crashing resonated deeply with Thurman. The notion of ‘one time’ became a mantra for Thurman—a symbol of the exhilarating rush that comes with landing a fight-ending blow.

They rock you, they shock you, and that’s what a tank’s all about. And I love it, you know? And one time was similar for me, who was doing the who, who embodies that one-time KO punch? Of course, I grew up embodying that. Then I saw Deontay Wilder, and I thought that was the definition of ‘one time.’ I don’t if I ain’t never known the definition. One time, you see that monster land a punch. Okay, so… And once again, bronze bomber, boom, boom. It’s in the title,” he said.

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While Thurman thinks that ‘Tank’ and Wilder are two of the most destructive boxers today, he was not shy to point out why the legendary former four-division champion Pernell Whittaker got his nickname ‘Sweet Pea’.

Thurman details Pernell Whitaker’s boxing style

Thurman’s admiration extends to the late Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker, whose mesmerizing defensive prowess and technical wizardry earned him legendary status in the sport. Drawn to the elegance and finesse of Whitaker’s movements, Thurman recognizes the importance of defensive skills and precision in the art of boxing.

“It’s psychological. We’re human beings, we embody the spirit of a warrior. To what degree, to what degree? Sweet pea, sweet pea, Whitaker, so sweet with it. So sweet with it, there’s a sweetness to it. Like when you get in the flower and you get that little nectar and that natural sweetness that honey that all natural you know. That’s what it’s all about,” he added.

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With his sights set on returning to the pinnacle of the boxing world, Thurman’s journey is fueled by a burning desire to make a resounding comeback. Moreover, he is now armed with the lessons learned from his idols and his own experiences. The stage is set for Thurman to etch his name in the annals of boxing history and leave as one of the greats. Only time will tell if he is able to do so. However, the boxing world will certainly be gearing up to see ‘One Time’ in the ring again.

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What are your thoughts on Keith Thurman’s comments? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Sahil Sood

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Sahil Sood is a Boxing writer at EssentiallySports, who specializes in covering live events and core sports. Sahil holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has authored over 1300 articles at EssentiallySports. His coverage of Sylvester Stallone's training with Earnie Shavers was widely praised for its depth and insight.
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Edited by:

Shibu Immanuel

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