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Spence’s trainer: Thurman’s face was beat up after Bundu fight

Errol Spence Jr Keith Thurman

By Allan Fox: Derrick James, the trainer for unbeaten #2 IBF welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr (21-0, 18 KOs), says that Keith “One Time” Thurman’s face was beaten up and swollen after his fight against Leonard Bundu (33-2-2, 12 KOs) in December 2014. In contrast, Spence got out of the fight with Bundu without any swelling in his 6th round knockout win last Sunday night in their IBF welterweight title eliminator bout at the Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York.

Thurman knocked Bundu down in round one of their fight two years ago and went on to win a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores of 120-107, 120-107 and 120-107. However, Thurman looked uncomfortable and stressed out from the pressure that Bundu was putting on him in the fight. Bundu was landing solid shots to the head of Thurman in every round that forced him to move all night long.

(Photo credit: Ryan Greene/Premier Boxing Champions)

“If you look at the end of the fight, Keith Thurman’s face was all beat up and swollen, and he moved for 10 rounds; boxed and moved. Errol sat in front of him and used his jab and boxed around him and he didn’t have any bruises on his face,” said Spence’s trainer James to “Keith was beat up after the fight and with Errol, it was a little different. Once he established his jab, he was able to control the distance and that was the deciding factor of the fight.”

I wouldn’t say that Thurman was beaten up around the face after his win over Bundu. In researching the Thurman-Bundu fight, I couldn’t see any swelling at all around Thurman’s face. He was totally unmarked and looked like he just gone for a long job around the park. However, it was not an impressive performance from Thurman. He moved way too much and he did for 12 rounds. It wasn’t a 10 round fight like James says. It was 12.

Thurman looked panicky from the pressure that Bundu was putting on him. Thurman did land some big punches in the fight, but he was loading up on everything he threw, and he rarely threw jabs. When Thurman did jab, it wasn’t a powerful jab. He was just touching Bundu and not getting any power on his shots at all. Thurman didn’t vary the power on his shots in the fight, and this enabled Bundu to handle his power a lot better. Spence did a much better job of mixing up the power on his punches against Bundu, and this is why he was able to knock him down twice in the sixth round with his big uppercuts.

“We had the most watched boxing match in boxing history. Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao had 4.4 million viewers, and his [fight] had over 6 million,” said James about Spence’s fight with Bundu bringing in more than 6 million viewers on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC.” I want to thank everybody, all of the fans that watched the fight; new fans and old fans. Thank you!”

There’s a difference between Mayweather-Pacquiao bringing in 4.4 million buys on pay-per-view and Spence-Bundu bringing in over 6 million viewers on free television. Had Mayweather vs. Pacquiao been on free television like the Spence vs. Bundu fight, it very well could have brought in well over 20 million viewers. The Spence-Bundu fight took advantage of the fact that it was televised on HBC after the Olympic gold medal basketball game last Sunday. Those fans likely didn’t tune in specially to see the Spence-Bundu fight.

Spence’s win over Bundu makes him the mandatory challenger to IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook. Spence will either be fighting Brook soon or someone designated by the International Boxing Federation if he chooses to vacate the title. Spence is interested in eventually fighting Thurman in the future once he captures the IBF title. He wants to fight him in a unification fight. They’re both managed by Al Haymon, so it should be possible unless Thurman nixes the idea. It would be a good fight if they can make this happen in the future. Thurman is going to need to make some improvements in his game if he doesn’t want to get out-boxed and out-slugged by Spence. This would be a lot tougher fight for Thurman than his recent fight against Shawn Porter. Thurman barely won that fight. You can imagine what Spence would do to Thurman.

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