Keith Thurman to Errol Spence Jr: “He’s Going to Have to Give Me My Respect One Way or Another”
By: Hans Themistode
Before Errol Spence Jr vs Terence Crawford dominated headlines as the most anticipated contest in the welterweight division, a matchup between Spence and Keith Thurman held that distinction.
A contest between the pair never came close to materializing though, mostly due to Thurman’s reluctance to face the Dallas native before the right time. That timing however, has seemingly expired. At least according to Spence who expressed absolutely zero interest in taking on Thurman.
“I don’t really care about him anymore,” said Spence to Ray Flores of Premier Boxing Champions several months ago. “He didn’t give me the opportunity when I wanted it, so I don’t care about fighting him. I was calling him out, you know wanting to fight him and he didn’t want to give me the opportunity. He didn’t want to fight me. So now I don’t need him at all. He’s not even on my radar. I feel like he’s not even on my level.”
With a surprisingly difficult win against Josesito Lopez coupled with a loss in his last contest against Manny Pacquiao, Thurman finds himself both belt-less, and no longer undefeated. With that being said, Thurman does hold wins over former champions in Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
Despite those aforementioned wins and lengthy title reign, Spence has shown no interest in adding Thurman’s name to his ledger. Be that as it may, the former unified titlist currently ranks number five in the WBC sanctioning body.
If Spence is no longer interested in stepping inside the ring against him, then Thurman is handing him only one other option.
“If he really doesn’t want to see me at 147 then he’s going to have to leave the division,” said Thurman to PepTalkUk. “I’m not leaving the division. He’s going to have to give me my respect one way or another.”
Exiting stage left of the welterweight division doesn’t seem to be in the immediate future of Spence. But with four of his past five opponents having previously held a world title, the road to keeping his belt will be a difficult one.
With names such as Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, Terence Crawford and of course, Keith Thurman, the bullseye that is currently marked on the back of Spence is something he should get comfortable with.
“Errol is champion and a lot of people are going to be gunning for him,” explained Thurman. “If he wants to keep dominating 147, then he’s going to have to pretty much answer to everyone.”