By: Hans Themistode
Fans of the sport of boxing are constantly left waiting. They want the big matchups to take place and they want it to happen sooner rather than later. But more times than not, they are forced to cross their hands, twiddle their thumbs and wait.
Once upon a time, one of the most anticipated matchups in the entire sport was between current unified Welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr and the man who was once a unified champion himself in Keith Thurman.
For years, Spence annihilated his competition. And quickly after, he would call for a matchup with Thurman. For a while, Thurman took umbrage to the constant call outs. Deeming Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) an unworthy challenger. Yet, when Spence finally grabbed his first title in May of 2017, Thurman changed his tune a bit. He talked up a future clash with Spence as the biggest in boxing. But now, with a blemish on his undefeated record and a long injury history, that dream contest has fallen by the wayside.
At the moment, Spence is on track to defend his titles against two division world champion Danny Garcia, and hasn’t exactly shown much interest in matching up with Thurman anymore.
“I don’t really care about him anymore,” said Spence to Premier Boxing a few months ago. “He didn’t give me an opportunity when I wanted it. So I don’t care about fighting him. I was calling him out and wanted to fight him, but he didn’t want to give me an opportunity. He didn’t want to fight me. So now I don’t need him. I don’t need him at all. He’s not even on my radar. I feel like he’s not even on my level. I’m looking for big names like Pacquiao, Terence Crawford, Danny Garcia. So I’m not worried about Keith Thurman at all.”
While Spence may have his ship sailed in a completely different direction, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is hoping to flag him down to make the fight happen.
“I want the Spence fight,” said Thurman in a recent interview. “Ultimately I saw a big clash between me and Spence leading into a year like this 2020, 2021. I always saw the big fight happening. We were both undefeated champions of the world. I thought that was how I was going to be introduced in the Errol Spence fight, as an undefeated Welterweight champion. So with him having two titles we would unify the Welterweight division with our matchup.”
Had it not been for Manny Pacquiao, Thurman would have been introduced as an undefeated world champion in a future Spence clash. The 41 year old Pacquiao would go on to drop Thurman in their July 2019 contest en route to a split decision win.
Thurman has always lived by the motto “I got an 0 and I’m not afraid to let it go.” Well, now that Pacquiao has taken his 0, Thurman now has his attention shifted towards a Spence fight.
But even if he was given the chance to face Spence right away, he would take the opportunity, but he would much rather grab a world title first.
“Deep down there’s still a part of me that wants to grab my belt back. Then try to manifest my innermost dreams and desires for the sport of boxing.”
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