By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. is possibly the happiest person in the sport of boxing. Just a few weeks ago, it was revealed that the current unified welterweight champion will take on future first ballot Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao on August 21st.
For a number of years now, Spence Jr. had called for a showdown with the former eight-division world champion and has finally gotten what he wished for. Truth be told, the Dallas native made it a habit to call out all of the big names while he was rising up the 147-pound ranks. Amongst the long list of fighters he called out, was former unified welterweight champion, Keith Thurman.
Yet, after listening to Thurman say for years that he was uninterested in a showdown with Spence Jr. at the time, the powerful southpaw grew irate with his long-time rival. Recently, nonetheless, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has expressed a desire to face Spence Jr. in the ring. But while there was once a time where Spence Jr. would have jumped all over that opportunity, at this point, the Dallas product says thanks but no thanks to his offer.
“Man, I don’t want anything to do with Keith Thurman,” said Spence Jr. during an interview on Barbershop Conversations. “That ship has sailed. That ship’s been gone. I don’t want anything to do with that man. He’s just a cornball to me. I just can’t stand him.”
Upon hearing the news that Spence Jr. is no longer interested in facing him, Thurman has claimed that as long as his rival stays in the same weight class as him, he’ll have no choice but to “come see him.” That notion, however, is simply laughable to Spence Jr. With the biggest fight in his professional career staring him right in the face, he would rather focus his energy on the task at hand.
If Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) is successful in defeating Pacquiao, he says his next move will be to snag the last remaining belt at 147 pounds which is the WBO trinket held by undefeated pound-for-pound star, Terence Crawford.
As for Thurman, Spence Jr. couldn’t care less what he decides to do with his career. Although he openly admits that he doesn’t like the former unified titlist, Spence Jr. believes he would be lying if he said Thurman wasn’t a skilled fighter. In spite of Thurman picking up a split decision loss at the hands of Pacquiao in his most recent ring appearance, Spence Jr. still holds his overall fighting ability in high regard. Still, that doesn’t mean a fight between them will ever happen. If Spence Jr. were to remove his boxing gloves and place his matchmaking hat on, he has an idea as to who Thurman could target a fight with next.
“He’s still a good fighter. He could still fight. I don’t really have any interest in it. He can fight (Yordenis) Ugas. He ain’t going to get a fight with me.”
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