Keith Thurman To Errol Spence Jr.: “I’m Superior To The Fighters You’ve Been Fighting”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman continues to stare at his fight calendar, hoping and praying that a fight date appears. The former unified welterweight champion has sat on the sidelines for a year and a half as he nurses injuries he suffered after his last contest, a split decision loss against Manny Pacquiao.
During his absence, current unified 147-pound titlist Errol Spence Jr., has continued to dominate the competition. With the Dallas native fresh off a one-sided win over former two-division champion Danny Garcia, he now appears to be angling for a unification showdown against WBA belt holder Yordenis Ugas.
Thurman, on the other hand, continues to gaze at his empty schedule. In a perfect world, Pacquiao would be number one on his Hitlist, but if he’s preoccupied, Thurman would love a shot at the man holding the most gold.
“I’d say Errol Spence,” said Thurman during an interview on the PBC podcast. “He’s the unified champion and has the most credit.”
For as much as Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) wants to face the Dallas product, Spence Jr. has reiterated on numerous occasions that it simply won’t happen. After spending most of the early portion of his career chasing Thurman, now that Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) is the one holding the titles, he’s in no mood to face Thurman anymore. In fact, Spence Jr. has gone as far as to say he would rather move up or down in weight than take him on.
While the decision is solely his, Thurman believes there’s no other way for Spence Jr. to prove how great of a fighter he truly is. Fighting the likes of Ugas, Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter won’t get it done either. Thurman maintains that if Spence Jr. truly wants to claim he’s on top of the welterweight food chain, then he has no other choice but to fight him.
“Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia – I beat both, he beat both. I’m superior to the fighters you’ve been fighting. Why not step up the competition. Let’s see how great you really are against Keith “One Time” Thurman.”
Keith Thurman On Errol Spence Jr.: “He’s Fought A Lot Of My Competition But Hasn’t Fought Me, What Kind Of Statement Is He Really Trying To Make?”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s something about the resume of Errol Spence Jr. that looks awfully familiar. From Leonard Bundu to Shawn Porter to Danny Garcia, they all share one thing in common. They’ve suffered defeats at the hands of both Errol Spence Jr. and Keith Thurman.
Not only have the pair shared the ring with many of the same fighters but currently, the manner in which they won those fights are eerily similar. While names such as WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford and future Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao are amongst the elite, it is Spence Jr. who currently holds two of the four major world titles.
Although the Dallas native has run through many of the top names, Thurman simply yawns as he’s been there done that. If Spence Jr. truly wants to separate himself from the pack, then he’ll lace up his boxing gloves and take him on instead.
“He’s fought a lot of my competition but he hasn’t fought me yet,” said Thurman during an interview with Pro Boxing Fans. “What kind of statement is he really trying to make in the welterweight division?”
Long before the powerful southpaw held two major world titles, the WBA and WBC belts rested safely on Thurman’s audacious shoulders. At one point in time, a mega showdown between them was all the rage in the welterweight division. However, with Thurman suffering numerous injuries and long stretches on the sidelines, the interest in their contest has seemingly died down.
Thurman on the other hand, is firmly of the belief that if they at long last stood across the ring from one another, their clash would be an instant classic.
“He is a great champion but I do think when we clash, it’ll be one of the biggest in the welterweight division.”
For as badly as Thurman wants to get his hands on Spence Jr., the feeling isn’t exactly mutual. After spending years calling him out, Spence Jr. has now shown no interest in facing Thurman, even going as far as to say “that sh*t ain’t happening.”
For the former unified champion, however, he long planned on facing Spence Jr., he simply ran into a roadblock in Manny Pacquiao. The 42-year-old handed Thurman the first defeat of his career in July of 2019. Since then, he’s remained inactive as he recovers from hand surgery. With everything pointing in the right direction in terms of his health, Thurman believes building up their showdown is no longer needed. In fact, if it was up to him, he’d get Spence Jr. in the ring as soon as humanly possible.
“I think we’ve waited long enough. I would really like to make that fight happen as soon as possible. The whole goal after the Pacquiao fight was to go after Spence anyways. That was going to be the next big major fight. I’d be happy to make it happen this year.”
Keith Thurman Dismisses Danny Garcia’s Callouts, Rips His Performance Against Errol Spence Jr.: “He Thanked God That He Didn’t Get Knocked Out”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman doesn’t recall his showdown against Danny Garcia being particularly close. Despite the split decision victory in 2017, Thurman believes he dominated their contest.
Regardless of his belief, that hasn’t stopped Garcia from calling him out. Earlier this month, the Philadelphia native announced to the boxing world that his time at 147 pounds had officially come to an end as he intends on fighting at the 154-pound weight limit. Although Thurman has no intention of joining him in the Jr middleweight division, that hasn’t stopped Garcia from calling him out.
“I feel like the next chapter in my career is at 154,” said Garcia during an interview with Eric Kelly on SouthBox Radio. “I’ll do a couple of fights and break myself in. Me and Thurman could fight at 54.”
In Thurman’s opinion, it doesn’t matter where they fight, the outcome will be identical to the first time they faced off.
“He was slow at 140 so that ain’t gonna change nothing,” said Thurman during an interview with FightHype. “I don’t know what Danny thinks or what benefactors he has in moving up in weight and calling me out. Just make weight boy.”
For Garcia, his time at 147 pounds comes to an end on a whimper. The former two-division world champion was thoroughly outboxed and outmuscled by unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
Thurman admitted that he watched their contest carefully but he also confessed that he was disappointed in what he saw from Garcia on the night. While the Philadelphia native reassures everyone that he did everything in his power to win, Thurman saw something completely different. In his opinion, Garcia was simply happy to see the final bell while standing upright.
“He didn’t let his hands go until five seconds at the end. He thanked God right away that he didn’t get knocked out. He was being very defensive and didn’t want to let his hands go. I think he was a little timid. I think his dad was trying to get him to throw more punches the whole fight. He was in good position on Spence but he didn’t let his hands go.”
Bob Arum Responds To Keith Thurman’s Rant: “What The Hell Is He Talking About?”
By: Hans Themistode
Former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman tore Bob Arum a new one with a seething rant recently. The Florida native had long expressed an interest in facing WBO belt holder Terence Crawford. However, talks broke down as Arum refused to acquiesce to Thurman’s financial demands.
Words such as “cheap,” and “a piece of shit,” were at the top of Thurman’s list in terms of how he felt about the long time promoter.
After taking the time to listen to what Thurman had to say, Arum is puzzled as to why he is the target of his derogatory rant.
“I saw that but what the hell is he talking about?” Asked Arum during an interview with IFL TV. “I’m being cheap? I’ve been in this boxing business for many years. There were fighters that always said promoters like myself and particularly (Don) King, that if there was a pie, that we were getting this percentage and that we should get a smaller percentage.
“That was one thing, that was legitimate. As a promoter are we taking too big a share of the pie? That makes sense but what doesn’t make sense is to say to a promoter that we know that it’s a pandemic and we know that there’s a limited amount of money but go into your own pocket and pay me what I want to get paid. For Christ’s sake, there has to be some kind of business element. Don’t tell me I got to go in my pocket for millions of dollars to make the fight happen. Why? What’s the reason for that? It makes no sense.”
For Thurman, his argument surrounding the need to get paid more money stems from Crawford’s level of opposition. As of late, the pound for pound star has received a ton of criticism for the lack of well known and established fighters on his resume. Despite Thurman’s recent defeat against Manny Pacquiao and his penchant for sitting on the sidelines due to injuries, no one questions the credentials of the former unified welterweight titlist.
In the mind of Arum however, he isn’t keen on losing money during the midst of a pandemic. As for the matchup itself, the 88-year-old promoter believes it’s a terrific one. But he doesn’t plan on shelling out the money in order to make it happen. Instead, he has offered another idea to make their bout come to fruition.
“I would tell Thurman have somebody else promote the fight and let them lose money. I promise I’ll buy a ringside seat to watch the fight.”
Keith Thurman On Danny Garcia: “He’s Been Struggling Ever Since He Hit 147, Let’s Be Real”
By: Hans Themistode
At one point in time, Danny Garcia simply couldn’t be beaten. No matter who was placed in front of the Philadelphia born fighter, he found a way to leave the ring with his hand raised in victory. His aura of invincibility however, left him the moment he left the 140-pound division and ventured seven pounds north in 2015.
While his skills were lauded as a unified champion as a Jr. welterweight, Keith Thurman just doesn’t believe he stacks up to anyone of note in a much bigger weight class.
“Let’s just be honest on where his skills are in the welterweight division,” said Thurman during an Instagram live session. “He’s been struggling ever since he hit 147. Let’s be real.”
Thurman of course, handed Garcia the first loss of his career back in 2017. Despite the Florida native edging a split decision, many believed Thurman easily outboxed his man on the night and deserved a much larger margin of victory.
Since the win, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has spent the majority of his career battling injuries. Immediately following his victory over Garcia, Thurman was forced to sit out roughly two years due to a hand and elbow injury. He’s since managed to return to the ring on two occasions. A victory over Josesito Lopez in January of 2019, followed by a split decision loss to Manny Pacquiao six months later, the first defeat of his career.
Much like the unfortunate pattern that has plagued his career, Thurman has once again sat sitting idly on the sidelines due to various injuries. For Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) on the other hand, the former two-division titlist has been active, but the results have been erratic.
Outside of his victories against fringe contenders Brandon Rios, Adrian Granados and Ivan Redkach – Garcia has lost the two biggest fights of his career. In 2018, the Philadelphia native came up short in his bid to once again become a world champion against Shawn Porter and most recently, Garcia was thoroughly outclassed against unified champion Errol Spence Jr. The effort which he put forth was abysmal according to Thurman. Now, with multiple losses on the biggest of stages, Thurman questions if Garcia truly wants it anymore.
“He barely threw any punches. He was in the pocket and he didn’t pull the trigger. He was right there in the pocket. I don’t know if he got that dog in him anymore. That Philly boy, I don’t know if he got that dog in him anymore man. He’s very cautious, very timid. He’s a timid fighter now, just hoping to land something.”
Manny Pacquiao: “Spence Is Slower Than Thurman”
By: Hans Themistode
Although Manny Pacquiao hasn’t officially fought since 2019, the eight-division titlist has been quietly doing his homework.
From the moment current unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. stepped foot inside of the ring, he’s been lauded for his ability. The footwork, timing, defensive responsibility and of course, the power – has left many believing that he is the best welterweight in the world. A tag once associated with Pacquiao.
While the WBA 147-pound belt holder may agree that Spence Jr. has all of those aforementioned qualities, he also believes that the Dallas native has one major hole in his game.
“He [Spence] is too slow,” Pacquiao told Josef Ramos of BusinessMirror. “Spence is slower than Thurman but it’s going to be a good fight.”
Facing a young, undefeated, hard-hitting fighter in Spence Jr. would be difficult, but for Pacquiao, he’s overcome that very scenario in his most recent contest. Before Pacquiao took the entirety of the 2020 campaign off mostly due to COVID-19, the future hall of famer had himself a busy 2019.
After making easy work of Adrien Broner in mid-January, Pacquiao eked out a razor-close decision against previously undefeated Keith Thurman. The win for Pacquiao may have netted him the WBA welterweight title, but not without serious resistance from Thurman. Following the victory, Pacquiao tabbed Thurman as the hardest puncher he had ever faced.
Pair their grueling contest along with 26 years of experience, and the now 42-year-old is as confident as ever in securing the victory against Spence Jr. Still, Pacquiao admitted that a showdown with the powerful southpaw wasn’t exactly number one on his todo list.
After accomplishing virtually everything in the sport of boxing, Pacquiao would like to step outside of his comfort zone and do something else entirely unique.
“[Spence and McGregor are] my options, but right now I want to experience fighting an MMA [mixed martial artist],” said Pacquiao. “I will also donate a big portion of my income to Filipino COVID-19 victims.”
Under The Radar Fights Fans Should Be Hoping For This Year
By: Hans Themistode
The big fights are easy to identify. Even the most casual fans will tune into matchups headlined by Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. or Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua. While those fights are undoubtedly huge, discussing them has become incredibly repetitive.
The sport of boxing doesn’t revolve around those obvious big fights, and more times than not, those marquee matchups either take years to materialize or fail to happen at all. The anticipation would go through the roof if Canelo Alvarez agreed to take on Jermall Charlo or if Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford came to a bout agreement. But there are a ton of other possible matches that are floating under the radar. One’s that would make fight fans and even casuals run to their television screens. Let’s take a look a look at some of them now.
Luis Ortiz vs Andy Ruiz Jr
When it comes to the heavyweight division, much of the attention is on unified champion Anthony Joshua as well as WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury. There is little doubt that their showdown would entertain. However, a contest between former champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) and multiple time title challenger Luis Ortiz would possibly produce even more fireworks.
Both big men know how to box but more importantly, they know how to bang and enjoy doing it. Outside of his defeats to Deontay Wilder, Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) has never come close to losing a fight. The now 41-year-old is fresh off a first-round knockout win against Alexander Flores in early November. Ruiz Jr., on the other hand, is still searching to get back on track following his one-sided loss against Anthony Joshua in late 2019. Both men hit hard, have sturdy chins and need a big fight.
This one has fight of the year candidate written all over it.
Jermall Charlo vs Chris Eubank Jr
WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) has been described in a variety of ways. Brash, brazen, loquacious and even arrogant. In many respects, so has WBA interim titlist Chris Eubank Jr.
Charlo, 30, has done his best to quiet his doubters with his most recent performance, an easier than expected win against perennial contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Eubank Jr. though, is in a similar position. Sure his world title win was a bit fortuitous considering his opponent in Mat Korobov dislocated his shoulder in the second round of their matchup, Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22 KOs) proved in his prior fight that he can not only compete with the elite but beat them convincingly. That much was proven after sending former champion James DeGale into retirement.
In terms of Charlo and Eubank Jr., both men have expressed plenty of interest in facing each other. With nothing set in stone for either man at the moment, both should look to make this showdown happen next.
Erickson Lubin vs Jarrett Hurd
Has there ever been a boring fight involving Jarrett Hurd? Of course not. The former unified Jr middleweight champion was once viewed as the class of the division. Those thoughts however, have mostly dissipated following his surprising defeat to Julian Williams in mid-2019.
Still, with only one loss plastered to his record, the Maryland native is far from done. A possible matchup with Erickson Lubin would prove just that, provided he wins.
Lubin, much like Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs), saw his stock take a considerable hit the moment his head bounced off the canvas courtesy of a Jermell Charlo left hand in 2017. He’s rebuilt himself nicely since then reeling off five straight wins. If he wanted, Lubin could sit back and await his second crack at a world title but the 25-year-old loves a good fight. Ironically enough, Hurd loves himself a good scrap as well. It’s a matchup made in boxing Heaven.
Terence Crawford vs Keith Thurman
No not Manny Pacquiao and no not Errol Spence Jr. Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) should pick a fight with former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman. By all accounts, Spence Jr. is the top name in the division and the one Crawford should continue to lure into the ring. With that being said, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) was Spence Jr. long before he broke into the championship mix.
The biggest wins on the Dallas native’s resume came at the expense of Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. While they were impressive victories, Thurman took care of business against both men in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Injuries, of course, have held back the 32-year-old Thurman. And despite his loss to Pacquiao in his last ring appearance, he proved that there’s still plenty left in the tank.
Fans have grown tired of begging and groveling for a matchup between Crawford and Spence Jr. Instead, they should switch their focus and hope that Crawford faces Thurman. The former champion may have lost countless fans due to his inactivity in the ring but he’s still one of the best fighters in the world.
Keith Thurman Tells BoxingInsider His Side On Failed Terence Crawford Fight Negotiations: “A lot Of Things That People Have Talked About Are Bogus”
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.”
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.”
Keith Thurman Opens Up on Pacquiao Loss: “I Just Wasn’t 100 Percent”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman isn’t a fan of excuses. So when the former unified welterweight champion forked over his WBA title to Manny Pacquiao last year at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, he simply gave Pacquiao his credit and vowed to bounce back even stronger.
For Thurman though, returning even stronger would entail a life that was relatively free from injuries. Yet over the past two years, Thurman has sat on the sidelines as his body consistently broke down. Punching an opponent in the face became impossible as he battled both hand and elbow issues after unifying titles with Danny Garcia in 2017.
While Thurman took one step back in 2017 and 2018 due to inactivity, he claimed to be ready for two steps forward against Pacquaio in 2019. The former champion assured everyone that he was as healthy as he had been in a long time. Fast forward one year later however, and Thurman is now pulling the curtains back on the physical issues he brought to the ring with him on that night.
“There were a lot of variables,” said Thurman on PepTalkUK. “The number one thing that I blame is my weight control. When it comes to self discipline, I failed at that. My hand was a little bit of an issue as well. I had to cut sparring short many times. My preparation and where I was at in my sparring, I was not happy. Normally I’m turning it up on my sparring partners but I was just not at a certain level. It was just a rough year for me, I can admit that. I just wasn’t 100 percent.”
Even with Thurman admitting that he was not fully prepared for Pacquiao on the night, their contest was razor close. The second half of their matchup was mostly dominated by the Florida native, but it was the first half and in particular the first round, where Thurman fell behind heavily on the scorecards.
Thurman exploded out of the gate as he landed hard shots with his man pinned against the ropes. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Thurman hit the deck, courtesy of a Pacquiao right hand. From there it was an uphill battle as most counted him out. The knockdown may have been devastating to Thurman’s chances of winning the contest, but he believes that was not the beginning of the end.
“The fight wasn’t lost in that first round,” explained Thurman. “The fight was lost somewhere around the tenth. I kinda saw the fight as a draw with two rounds to go and that’s where I lost the fight. I believe that if I would’ve pushed and convinced myself that I needed a knockdown that maybe it would’ve led to something other than a one point decision in his favor.”
Throughout the 25 year career of Pacquiao he has been known to give his opponents more than one attempt at dethroning him. And in the case of Juan Manuel Marquez, he was given four. As for Thurman, Pacquiao seems to be moving forward.
Sulking at a blown opportunity with no rematch in the immediate future isn’t on the mind of Thurman though. The welterweight division is regarded as one of the deepest in all of boxing, and as far as he is concerned, he has an endless reservoir of options.
“It’s really about what doors open up. I can fight Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia or Danny Garcia. I would be surprised if a fight with Errol Spence popped up right away but there is so many Opportunities.”
Keith Thurman Still Battling Injuries
By: Hans Themistode
Fans of Keith Thurman were once accustomed to highlight level knockouts and championship victories. Now however, they’ve grown accustomed to long layoffs and injuries.
After sitting out nearly two years with various issues with his elbow and hand, Thurman stepped into the ring on two occasions in 2019. The rust was evident in his win against Josesito Lopez, but he looked more like himself six months later against Manny Pacquiao. Yet, for the first time in 30 professional fights, Thurman left the ring without the win. But if there was ever a time for a moral victory, this was it.
It hadn’t been since 2015 that Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) made more than one appearance inside of a boxing ring. So despite the loss, there was reason to believe that he would be back to his old active self. Well, think again.
Shortly after Thurman picked up his loss to Pacquiao, he underwent surgery to fuse the metacarpal bones in his left hand. It didn’t seem like a major setback, however, nine months later and the former unified champion is still having issues.
“I still have yet to hit the bag 100 percent,” said Thurman on an episode of Stars and Champions on Impact Network. Dan Rafael. “So, I did some exercises yesterday. I noticed that – I did do some heavy-duty exercises. So, I did notice that there was a little achiness here today. I started doing some heavier weights. I really wanted to get into the strong, the heavier movement, the heavier impact. You know, light impact, touch, touch, touch all day. But I need to get back into the heavier hitting. And that’s gonna take probably another two to three weeks of working on that before I know that it’s gonna be 100.”
Fans of Thurman were always daydreaming about their favorite fighter. Matchups with current unified champion Errol Spence Jr and WBO belt holder Terence Crawford was all they could think about. Now, the only thing on their mind is when, or better yet, if, their man will ever return healthy once again.
Spending time on the shelf has taught Thurman how to be patient. Maybe he’s displayed too much of it over the years. But still, he isn’t in any rush to return from injury, but when he does, he expects to be better than ever.
“I feel confident, I think I’m gonna be stronger than I’ve been in a long time. I think I’m gonna be healthier than I’ve been in a long time. And I’m hoping that all of its gonna show in my performance. You know, you’re gonna know when Keith Thurman’s back because he’s gonna look like a monster. He’s gonna look unbeatable.”
Keith Thurman: “I Want The Spence Fight”
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.”
Shawn Porter Doubts Keith Thurman Wants Rematch
By: Hans Themistode
Shawn Porter has a long list of fighters he wants to step into the ring with next. But a matchup with fellow former champion Keith Thurman is at the top.
The two shared the ring back in 2016 with Porter coming up just short in the match. Each judge scoring the bout had it the same, 114-113 for Thurman.
It may have been another blemish on his resume but thanks to wins over Andre Berto, Yordenis Ugas and Danny Garcia, Porter’s stock is currently through the roof.
On the contrary, anyone with stock in Thurman might be looking to sell at the moment. Not only is he coming off a loss to Manny Pacquiao, but Thurman also had a lackluster performance against Josesito Lopez in early 2019. Not to mention the loss of two years of his prime due to injury.
That, coupled with Porter’s ultra close loss to Errol Spence Jr in late 2019, has him in an excellent position in the Welterweight division.
A rematch with Spence is something that the rough and rugged Porter is currently eyeing, but if a contract with Thurman’s name on it came across his desk he wouldn’t hesitate to sign it. But he isn’t sure the feeling is mutual.
“I’m not sure,” said Porter on a possible second fight with Thurman on Impact Network’s Stars and Champions: Special Edition series. “Keith has been through a lot in and out of the ring. Injuries and things of that nature.”
COVID-19 has condensed the current boxing schedule but there have been signs of life. Promoters such as Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn are already on course to return live boxing to television screens as soon as next month.
Still, even when fighters are allowed to return to the ring, Porter just doesn’t believe that Thurman wants to go another 12 more rounds with him again.
“I’m not sure [Thurman] can look at himself knowing that he may not be 100% and will be ready to take on a challenge like me.”
Shawn Porter on Keith Thurman: “I Don’t Think He’s The Same Fighter”
By: Hans Themistode
Shawn Porter has been in some brutal fights during his career. Matchups with Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia and Kell Brook turned into all out wars at times. The former two time Welterweight champion was dropped in the final round against Adrien Broner in 2015. He was also stunned in the seventh round against Brook one year prior.
Even though he’s caught his fair share of punches, no one has rocked him harder than former and current unified champions Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. Finding out who hits the hardest between the two causes him to pause while he wonders out loud. but differentiating between them is impossible.
“Both guys caught me with one punch. One big punch. I don’t know who is the harder hitter,” Porter (30-3-1, 17KOs) noted when asked to choose between the two during a live chat on the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) Facebook page. “In the ring, when the adrenaline is going and you’re focused on your mission, you’re not thinking about that. “I really don’t know who hits harder.”
It’s easy to forget just how heavy handed and dominant Thurman was at one point. But a long list of injuries saw Thurman sidelined for nearly two years from 2015-2017. Once he came back, he struggled in a win over fringe contender Josesito Lopez before getting dropped and losing a split decision against Manny Pacquiao. Now, Thurman finds himself in the back of the line at the Welterweight division.
While Porter finds it practically impossible to determine who hits harder between Spence and Thurman, he didn’t hesitate when asked who would win should the two finally meet inside of the ring.
“I’d pick Spence. Keith Thurman has been out of the ring too much. I don’t think he’s the same fighter he was when I fought him. I’d have to go with Spence.”
Thurman to Crawford: “Send The Contract”
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].”