Keith Thurman: “I Saw Some Mitt Work From Pac Man, He Looks A Little Slower”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman is still licking his wounds from his last ring appearance. The former unified welterweight champion hasn’t been seen in the ring since picking up the first loss of his career two years ago against Manny Pacquiao.
While Thurman continues to bide his time on the sidelines, Pacquiao is currently in the midst of training camp as he prepares for his return to the ring. The former eight-division world champion will face arguably the biggest test of his career when he takes on current unified 147-pound titlist, Errol Spence Jr. The two are slated to swap fists on August 21st at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Seemingly every few days, Pacquiao drops a new training video as he prepares to deal with his much younger opponent. While the Filipino native has stated that he feels refreshed and rejuvenated, Thurman believes that by the looks of Pacquiao’s training videos, his age is starting to show.
“I saw some mitt work from Pac Man, he looks a little slower this camp,” said Thurman during a self-recorded video. “I ain’t gonna lie, we all know he a little older, he looks a little slower.”
At the age of 42, Pacquiao has admitted that he isn’t able to push himself in training camp on a daily basis like in his younger years. Still, despite that, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is confident in his ability to take down Spence Jr.
As for the unified champion from Dallas Texas, he’s ostensibly in the prime of his career. After surviving a horrific car wreck in October of 2019, he brushed aside a life-threatening crash and got right back to work. In December of 2020, Spence Jr. successfully returned to the ring and dissected former two-division titlist, Danny Garcia over the course of 12 rounds.
Thurman, 32, sat from his ringside seat as he watched Spence Jr. do whatever he wanted to Garcia, a man he also defeated by split decision in 2017. While Spence Jr.’s performance was nearly flawless, Thurman has openly criticized Garcia for failing to let his hands go and land something of consequence on the chops of Spence Jr.
Although he isn’t exactly a fan of the unified star, Thurman does expect him to pick up the win next month in Las Vegas. With that said, Thurman is hoping that Pacquiao is able to land one of his normally concussive blows at some point during the fight.
“I think he got what it takes but I hope he gives Errol something good. We all wanna see that chin get touched.”
Keith Thurman Compares The Punching Power Of Danny Garcia To Manny Pacquiao: “Nobody Hit Like Danny”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman believes his time on the shelf is slowly but surely coming to an end. The former unified welterweight titlist is back in the gym and working hard to return to form. Recently, rumors surfaced of a possible rematch between Thurman and long-time rival, Shawn Porter. In 2016, Thurman edged out a close unanimous decision victory between the pair.
Whether their showdown comes to fruition or not is yet to be seen but at the moment, Thurman is focused on the biggest fight in the welterweight division that is set to take place in just a few short months when Manny Pacquiao takes on current unified champion Errol Spence Jr.
Having gone toe to toe with Pacquiao in July of 2019, Thurman knows exactly what it feels like to be on the other end of the former eight-division world champions punches. Considering that Thurman went down from a punch in the opening round to Pacquiao for only the second time in his career and was hurt on multiple occasions, he wholeheartedly respects how hard Pacquiao hits. With that said, he isn’t the biggest puncher he’s ever faced.
“Nobody hit like Danny (Garcia),” said Thurman during an interview with FightHype.com “He felt like a big brick, Pacquiao felt like a little brick. Now the weird part is that Pacquiao’s hands just felt heavy. After the fight, I was like why did his fist feel so hard in the fight? I could handle it but I was thinking does he do certain training? Does he have more bone density in his hands? Did they do some Asian stuff? What did they do?”
As Thurman paused for a moment to reminisce of his back and forth battle with Pacquiao that ultimately resulted in the first defeat of his career, the Florida native believes he understands why Pacquiao hit so hard.
“I was looking at a picture that my dad framed up at his house, he took a picture of me and Pac trading body blows. When I looked at the picture, I noticed that Pacquiao wore those old-school Mexican Reyes gloves. Back when me and Ben Getty (Thurman’s old trainer who passed away) was knocking everybody out, we always wore those Mexican Reyes gloves. What would it have felt like for Pacquiao if I would’ve worn those Reyes?”
In the end, Thurman’s question is likely to never be answered as the two continue to go in opposite directions. Still, despite what he deems as unfinished business and regardless of how much respect he has for the hard-hitting future first ballot Hall of Famer, Thurman still gives Garcia the edge in the power department.
The two initially faced off in March of 2017. Although Thurman picked up the win relatively easily, he always stood firmly behind his claims that the punches Garcia landed on his shoulders made him unable to lift his arm for a week. So, even with the constant punishment he withstood at the hands of Pacquiao, Thurman still gives Garcia the edge in punching power.
“Pacquiao does hit hard, he hits fast but as a welterweight, it’s not the hardest punch I’ve ever felt. It’s the hardest punch I’ve ever felt coming from a little guy like Pacquiao. But Danny Garcia, the way he plants his feet, the way he develops tork into his punches, he’s not even a real welterweight and to me, he was the hardest hitting welterweight that I faced.”
Errol Spence Jr. On Keith Thurman: “He’s Still A Good Fighter, He Could Still Fight”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. is possibly the happiest person in the sport of boxing. Just a few weeks ago, it was revealed that the current unified welterweight champion will take on future first ballot Hall of Famer Manny Pacquiao on August 21st.
For a number of years now, Spence Jr. had called for a showdown with the former eight-division world champion and has finally gotten what he wished for. Truth be told, the Dallas native made it a habit to call out all of the big names while he was rising up the 147-pound ranks. Amongst the long list of fighters he called out, was former unified welterweight champion, Keith Thurman.
Yet, after listening to Thurman say for years that he was uninterested in a showdown with Spence Jr. at the time, the powerful southpaw grew irate with his long-time rival. Recently, nonetheless, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has expressed a desire to face Spence Jr. in the ring. But while there was once a time where Spence Jr. would have jumped all over that opportunity, at this point, the Dallas product says thanks but no thanks to his offer.
“Man, I don’t want anything to do with Keith Thurman,” said Spence Jr. during an interview on Barbershop Conversations. “That ship has sailed. That ship’s been gone. I don’t want anything to do with that man. He’s just a cornball to me. I just can’t stand him.”
Upon hearing the news that Spence Jr. is no longer interested in facing him, Thurman has claimed that as long as his rival stays in the same weight class as him, he’ll have no choice but to “come see him.” That notion, however, is simply laughable to Spence Jr. With the biggest fight in his professional career staring him right in the face, he would rather focus his energy on the task at hand.
If Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) is successful in defeating Pacquiao, he says his next move will be to snag the last remaining belt at 147 pounds which is the WBO trinket held by undefeated pound-for-pound star, Terence Crawford.
As for Thurman, Spence Jr. couldn’t care less what he decides to do with his career. Although he openly admits that he doesn’t like the former unified titlist, Spence Jr. believes he would be lying if he said Thurman wasn’t a skilled fighter. In spite of Thurman picking up a split decision loss at the hands of Pacquiao in his most recent ring appearance, Spence Jr. still holds his overall fighting ability in high regard. Still, that doesn’t mean a fight between them will ever happen. If Spence Jr. were to remove his boxing gloves and place his matchmaking hat on, he has an idea as to who Thurman could target a fight with next.
“He’s still a good fighter. He could still fight. I don’t really have any interest in it. He can fight (Yordenis) Ugas. He ain’t going to get a fight with me.”
Keith Thurman Explains Why He Originally Wasn’t Interested In Facing Errol Spence Jr.
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman is quietly sick and tired of Errol Spence Jr. The current unified welterweight champion has continued to receive a ton of praise for his recent run of big fights over the past few years. With wins over Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia – Spence Jr. has claimed a spot amongst every sensible top ten pound for pound list. Now, due to his status, Spence Jr. has earned a showdown against former eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Despite how many names the Dallas native continues to scratch off his Hitlist, Spence Jr. refuses to face off against Thurman. After spending his younger years chasing a match against the former unified star, Spence Jr. has vowed to never face Thurman since their showdown never took place. While Spence Jr. continues to say that he is no longer interested, Thurman questions whether he was truly interested in the first place.
“When people want somebody, they want somebody,” explained Thurman during an interview with FightHype.com. “When you want a Lamborghini you want a Lamborghini. I can ask you two years from now, you want your Lamborghini, it doesn’t change. When you really want something you want something. I want to see it, I just didn’t want to see it for no reason, at no stage, with no pay. I just didn’t want to see that.”
Although Thurman never believed the time was quite right, at this point, he believes everything now makes sense for their showdown to take place. First things first, however, both sides have a few last-minute things to take care of.
For Spence Jr., an August 21st showdown against Pacquiao is first up on his docket. The long-reigning unified champion has always wanted a matchup with the future first ballot Hall of Famer and will finally get his wish in just a few short months. As for Thurman, he hasn’t stepped into the ring since July of 2019, ironically enough, against Pacquiao. The two faced off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada with Thurman’s WBA welterweight title on the line.
After hitting the deck in the opening round, Thurman rallied in the second half but ultimately fell short. Immediately following the first defeat of his career, Thurman tended to a nagging hand injury and has been on the sidelines ever since.
Recently, rumors have surfaced that a possible rematch between Shawn Porter and Thurman could take place sometime this fall. Thurman originally won an extremely close unanimous decision victory in 2016. If both Spence Jr. and Thurman come out victorious, a matchup between the pair would be ideal in the mind of Thurman. As far as Spence Jr. reiterating that he has no desire to face him, Thurman believes that his long-time rival should simply put away the theatrics.
“EJ can say whatever he wants, I think it’s a whole bunch of nonsense and drama.”
Keith Thurman: “When It Comes To Anybody On This Side Fighting A Bud Crawford, I Just Think Crawford Needs To Get Away From Bob”
By: Hans Themistode
Keith Thurman doesn’t truly enjoy getting involved in the personal business of other fighters. Yet, as the years have gone by, the former unified welterweight champion can’t help but notice the tenuous and somewhat disrespectful working relationship between WBO 147 pound champion Terence Crawford and his current promoter Bob Arum.
While the two have worked with each other for years now, their association has reached a rocky point. Ever since the two paired up several years ago, Arum has failed to lock in any notable fights for his pound-for-pound star. As of late, fans of Crawford have grown tiresome of the apparent no-names he has continued to face in the ring. Recently, Crawford was last seen in November of 2020, dismantling former IBF belt holder, Kell Brook. Although at one point, Brook was considered arguably the best in the division, now, he’s clearly a shell of his former self.
For Thurman, he’s sat back and listened as Crawford has called for a showdown against himself, as well current unified champion Errol Spence Jr. Yet, no matter how loud he yells, his cries have fallen on deaf ears as Arum has been unable to negotiate a high profile against anyone from the stable of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC). Not only does Thurman believe that Crawford needs to pry himself away from the grip of Arum due to his failure to land him a big fight, but more than anything, Thurman just doesn’t feel Crawford gets the respect he deserves.
“When it comes to anybody on this side fighting a Bud Crawford, I just think Crawford needs to get away from Bob,” said Thurman during an interview with FightHype.com. “Bob doesn’t even give him the credit that he deserves, his promoter doesn’t even respect him. He needs to get away from that man.”
In just a few short months, Crawford will be given the opportunity to walk away from Arum as their promotional agreement is set to expire later on this year. With Arum’s Top Rank stable bereft of any top talent at 147 pounds, many have pointed to the PBC as the most likely landing spot for Crawford.
But while signing with his crosstown rival would allow Crawford to face some of the bigger names in the welterweight division including Thurman, Spence Jr., Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas, Shawn Porter and a long list of others, Thurman doesn’t necessarily believe that coming across the proverbial street is what Crawford needs to do.
The former three-division world champion can face several high-quality fighters without inking a promotional agreement. Just, more importantly, Thurman is simply of the mindset that Crawford needs to move on from his long-time promoter.
“Be his own man if that’s what he needs to be and I think he’ll be able to negotiate better fights from there.”
Keith Thurman Vs. Shawn Porter II Reportedly Could Be Next
By: Hans Themistode
With a close contest in June of 2016, there was always a belief that both Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter would do it again. Now, according to reports, they’ll have a chance to do just that.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, a rematch between the pair is currently being discussed. Part two of their back and forth first showdown would seemingly take place in the fall later on this year.
In June of 2016, Thurman beat Porter by identical 115-113 scores on all three judges’ scorecards. Shortly after, Thurman would go on to defeat Danny Garcia by split decision to unify titles in the welterweight division. But while Thurman was considered by most as the man to beat, his career took off in the wrong direction.
Following his win over Garcia, Thurman would spend close to two years on the sidelines due to various injuries. He would eventually come back to outpoint borderline contender Josesito Lopez in January of 2019. Although he appeared rusty, Thurman pressed forward with his career and would land a mega showdown against Manny Pacquiao in July of 2019. Thurman would hit the canvas in the first round of said contest but would rally back. His second-half surge wasn’t enough, however, as Pacquiao handed him the first defeat of his career and stripped him of his WBA welterweight title. After the loss, the injury bug bit him once again as he hasn’t been seen in the ring due to a hand injury.
While the stock of Thurman has seemingly taken a hit, Porter’s couldn’t be any higher. The Cleveland Ohio, native went on to reel off four wins in a row, including a title winning effort against Danny Garcia and a single title defense against the highly-rated Yordenis Ugas.
In an attempt to unify titles against Errol Spence Jr., Porter fell just short of doing so via split decision in September of 2019. Brushing that loss aside, Porter picked up a wide decision win against fringe contender Sebastian Formella in August of 2020.
Although a rematch with Thurman is something that Porter has always craved, the former two-time welterweight champion was adamant in taking on current WBO belt holder, Terence Crawford. Yet, after negotiations behind the scenes broke down, Porter stated that he was putting Crawford in the rearview mirror to chase other matchups.
While nothing is official just yet, with neither man having a fight currently booked, we could be on our way to seeing them match up in the ring once more.
Danny Garcia “Spence Three Times Stronger Than Thurman But Thurman Was The Better Skilled fighter”
By: Hans Themistode
When Danny Garcia tasted defeat for the first in his career against Keith Thurman in March of 2017, the Philadelphia native was adamant that he was the recipient of a bad decision. The former two-division champion dropped his WBC welterweight title via split decision after his second-half rally fell just short.
In his most recent ring outing, Garcia was thoroughly out-boxed as he suffered the most lopsided loss of his career against unified champion, Errol Spence Jr.
The consensus surrounding both Spence Jr. and Thurman is that the unified titlist is far and away a much better fighter. However, after sharing the ring with both, Garcia actually gives Thurman the nod in several categories.
“I feel like Thurman was the better skilled fighter,” said Garcia during a recent interview with FightHype.com. “Thurman had better defense, he’s faster and he’s stronger. Spence is not as fast or not as much power punching as Thurman but he’s a lot physically stronger. He’s three times stronger than Thurman.”
Presently, Spence Jr. is heading towards a unification showdown with WBA titlist, Yordenis Ugas. As for Thurman, his return to the ring is still an open-ended question as he’s remained on the sidelines since his close split decision defeat at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in July of 2019.
Putting his one and only loss to the side though, Garcia is steadfast in his belief that not only is Thurman and Spence Jr. operating on the same level but so is Shawn Porter and WBO belt holder, Terence Crawford.
“I been in there with all of them and they’re all at the same level,” continued Garcia. “I fought him (Crawford) as an amateur at the highest level so I would say that they’re all on the same level, all of them.”
In Garcia’s contest against Porter which take place in September of 2018, the Philadelphia product came up just short in his bid to become a two-time welterweight champion. In terms of Crawford, while both he and Garcia have yet to share a ring in the pros, they’ve swapped fists on two separate occasions in the amateurs with Garcia winning their first contest before losing the second.
While many of the top names in the division are all targeting showdowns against one another, Garcia will no longer be amongst them. The 33-year-old officially stated a few months ago that his days at 147 pounds are over as he will instead opt to move up to 154.
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.”