By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman had grown accustomed to watching his name get dragged through the mud. The former unified welterweight champion has been accused of spending too much time on the sidelines due to various injuries. He’s also been criticized for what many believe is a lack of dedication to his craft.
Those comments however, no matter how wrong he believes they are, is something that Thurman doesn’t care to defend himself from. Yet, in the case of the disparaging words that were aimed in his direction by current WBO titlist Terence Crawford, Thurman won’t sit idly by.
Several months ago, Thurman threw his hat into the Terence Crawford sweepstakes, telling the Nebraska native to “send the contract,” for a November showdown. That, of course, never happened as reports surfaced that Thurman asked for ten million dollars. The financial request left both Crawford and his team irate as fans began questioning if Thurman ever wanted the fight to begin with. Now, after staying silent on the subject, Thurman says all of it was absolute bullshit.
“There was an article that said Thurman asked for ten million dollars but I don’t ask for money,” said Thurman to Jeandra LeBeauf of BoxingInsider. “I only ask for what you’re willing to put out. I don’t put a number on nothing. Everything is negotiable.”
With their fight at a complete standstill, Crawford opted to go in another direction entirely, choosing to fight former IBF belt holder Kell Brook instead. Brook on the night, quickly proved to be nothing more than a warm-up for Crawford as he was dropped and stopped in the fourth round of a one-sided contest. For his efforts, Brook pocketed two million dollars. The same amount Thurman reportedly turned down during negations.
Amongst the many reasons that Crawford became irritated with their stalled fight talks, is allegedly from Thurman’s refusal to accept two million to face him. For Crawford, he couldn’t understand why a fighter such as Thurman would be willing to accept two million to face Manny Pacquiao but not himself.
Although reports did surface that Thurman made roughly $2.5 million for the July 2019 contest, the former belt holder says don’t believe everything that you hear as his pockets were filled with much more than just that.
“Terence Crawford came out with some weird whack article saying I only made two million fighting Pacquiao. I don’t know where he got his information from but I ain’t made two million since PBC started. If they paid Kell Brook two million dollars then that’s what two million dollars will get you, look at that performance. I come through with the action.”
At the moment, a showdown between the two is still plausible. Thurman has expressed on numerous occasions that he would be more than willing to face him, while Crawford on the other hand, listed Thurman as one of the top five fighters he would love to fight before he closes the curtain on his career.
If however, the pair circle back to the negotiation table, all Thurman asks for is some respect attached to whatever contract is slid in his direction.
“All it takes is a willing fighter and a willing promoter and it is what it is. That’s why doing things on the PBC side is very easy. When trying to fight people on their terms, it just has to make sense. At the end of the day, I’m real easy and fair in negotiations. A lot of things that people have talked about are bogus. I just want a fair fight contract. At the end of the day, I’m just trying to get the respect that I deserve.”