- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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SAN ANTONIO -- Keith Thurman will defend his interim welterweight title against Jesus Soto Karass in the co-feature Saturday night at the Alamodome (Showtime, 8 ET), and, although Thurman has given respect to Soto Karass as a serious opponent, he also has his mind on what he wants next.
Thurman would like to face Adrien Broner, who is set to defend his welterweight belt against Marcos Maidana in the main event. As the interim titleholder in the same organization that recognizes Broner as its full titleholder, Thurman is Broner's mandatory challenger.
Thurman would like the fight. He used to have Paulie Malignaggi on his mind, but then Broner outpointed Malignaggi to win the title in June.
"Paulie was on my mind due to that title, but when Adrien Broner took it, then that makes me look forward to stepping into that ring with 'AB' in 2014," Thurman said. "A lot of fans want that fight, and I want what the fans want."
Still, Thurman said he isn't looking past rough, tough Soto Karass, who is coming off an upset knockout of former titlist Andre Berto in July, on the same card on which Thurman stopped Diego Chaves to win the interim belt.
"I think he is a highly [underestimated] fighter," Thurman said. "He is 120 percent hard work and dedication. He says he has a new passion for the sport, and I believe him. He has been training hard in camp, and I am not underestimating him. I am looking forward to a tremendous fight on Saturday night."