By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman finds himself on the outside looking in. A position that he isn’t quite used to.
Even before Thurman became a unified champion in the Welterweight division, he was one of the best prospects in the world. In 2017, after he added Danny Garcia’s WBC title to his WBA, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who didn’t believe that he was the best Welterweight in the world.
Yet, following a close loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2019, and a long list of injuries, no one believes that anymore.
Names like Errol Spence Jr, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia have for the most part, passed him in the eyes of the fans.
One name that gets most of the attention is WBO titlist Terence Crawford. A matchup between Spence and Crawford is on the wishlist of most fight fans, but with everyone being mentioned for big fights, Thurman doesn’t like the feeling of being left out.
So while he’s never shown an interest in facing Crawford in the past, Thurman sounds like he’s ready to take him on now.
“Crawford knows he can get it,” Thurman said. “I’m a very simple man, when it comes to the fight world and doing business. You know what I mean? Be real. Be real, send the contract, watch me sign it. You know what I’m saying?”
A win over Crawford would place Thurman right in the front of the line in terms of who is arguably the best fighter in the division. And although COVID-19 has placed boxing on an indefinite pause, the good news is that the shortened boxing schedule could see big fights delivered much faster than normal.
Still, even if that is the case, Thurman doesn’t seem too interested in taking him on next.
“Next fight? I could debate on it,” Thurman said. “Of course, part of me wouldn’t like it because I would respect that Crawford is a champion who’s always in shape. You know, of course I’d wanna be prepared for that, coming off of everything I’ve come off of.”
Still even with Thurman calling out Crawford, there are still a ton of matchups that he wants. Including a particular rematch.
“If it’s not exactly what I want, which is the Manny Pacquiao rematch, you know, there are good fights out there that are good fights to let me [re-establish] some form of dominance in the welterweight division, and then go right into a Crawford or Spence [fight]. That’s another thing – if I’m presented with a contract, if I’m presented with both at the same time, I’ll go Spence over Crawford. Spence has the priority over Crawford.”
“Outside of [anything political], at the end of the day, he has two belts,” Thurman said. “He has more pull, more weight in the welterweight division. Terence Crawford has done tremendous throughout his whole career. I’m still not a fan of the [WBO] belt that he holds. So I’m more interested in the matchup, in the fight itself, over being champion of that sanctioning body. But at the end of the day, you know, I love great fights. I love being champion of the world, so you know, if I’m presented with those kind of opportunities, I’m not gonna hesitate. I’m not gonna wait. I might take it. I might take it right [away].”