In his own words — former World Champion Keith Thurman on the importance of Black History month :
Today is February 1, and as I look towards fight week, I am feeling a little bit of every emotion, I feel excitement. Anticipation. A little bit of angst. A little bit of nerves.
This is the start of Black History Month. In America, you grow up writing tons of essays in school, getting to learn about all the great ancestors before us. Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, George Washington Carver. Black history, like any ethnicity, brings pride. Not pride in an egotistical sense, but pride in those who have set great examples for those to come.
That resonates with me, especially looking at all the ancestors who set a great example for me in my life, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., for believing in the dream.
Being raised in America, no matter what color your skin is, you can’t force people to look at you a certain way, but you can look at yourself a certain way. You can hold yourself up to the highest degree as a man or woman, and you can do your best to make your mother and father, as well as your ancestors, proud.
To be here today, sacrifices were made. It’s made me aim higher – the next generation should continue to always aim higher.
It’s my time to rise back up. I always go into fight week with a whole lot of passion. Fundamentally, I look forward to getting in the ring and doing my job. Seeing the fans. Hearing the people roar. And, all the things attached to fight week, including a terrific meal after I get off the scale.
Fight week is the last week but it’s not the end. It’s not over until its truly over. When the performance is said and done, and our hand is held high, the journey is complete.
This is my time – our time – to continue the example that our ancestors set for us.
The above statement is from a press-release from Swanson PR. Kieth Thurman faces Mario Barrios in a PPV event from Las Vegas on February 5th. Image from Thurman promotional material for the event.