By: Sean Crose
“These fights are still possible,” former welterweight world titlist Keith “One Time” Thurman tells ESNews in an interview posted on Friday. The now 34 year old Floridian hasn’t fought in well over a year, yet the conversation turns, as it always seems to with Thurman, to Errol Spence. “I’m ready,” Thurman says directly to Spence. “I’ll take my portion and you take your portion and the truth is Errol, you should thank me. If I fought you when you called me out, when you was nobody, you got paid nobody money. You fight Keith Thurman today, you make more money than Keith Thurman.”
As far as Thurman is concerned, major battles (and a Spence-Thurman fight would certainly still be a major battle) take time to successfully come to life. “I knew the big fights have to be built up,” he says in the interview. “It’s one of those small things the fans don’t like. But big fights need to be built up and I love making them as big as they can be.” With that being said, Thurman is clearly aware that the “big fight” people want to see now is an undisputed welterweight throwdown between WBA, IBF, and WBC titlist Spence and WBO titlist Terence Crawford.
“You need to take out a Keith Thurman,” he says of Crawford. “You need to take out an Errol Spence Jr.” And what does he think of a Crawford-Spence throwdown? “I like Crawford’s style,” he tells ESNews. “He has more angles, he has more diversity, and that might play to his benefit. He might find something that others haven’t found on Spence with being able to attack from so many different angles, being ambidextrous – and he’s very talented at both sides.” Yet Thurman also has some kind things to say of Spence. “It’s fundamentally sound and it’s effective,” he says of the Texan’s style, “and he is the bigger man, he is a true welterweight.”
Provided a Spence-Crawford fight actually comes to fruition (and that’s no guarantee) Thurman still wants his name to be in people’s minds. “They can fight each other,” he says of Spence and Crawford, “then what?” Thurman clearly thinks he should be in line for the winner. “You need great fighters to make great fights,” he says, “and Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, to the day I retire, will always be one of the greatest in the welterweight division.”
Thurman may be right, but he also should prove it in the ring more often. “I do need to be more active,” he admits. “I have something in the works. No matter what manifests, we will get this ball back rolling.”
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