Thurman sees Spence vs. Peterson as competitive fight

By Boxing News - 11/25/2017 - Comments

Image: Thurman sees Spence vs. Peterson as competitive fight

By Allan Fox: Keith Thurman isn’t quite sure if IBF welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) will beat former 2 division world champion Lamont “Havoc” Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) or not in their fight on January 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Thurman sees the fight as a competitive one that will come down to which of the two has the most heart.

Thurman notes that Peterson sometimes looks good and sometimes he doesn’t in his fights. Thurman says something is missing in Peterson’s game plan and preparation in some of his fights, which cause him to lose at times.

If Peterson, 33, can beat Spence, he would be taking a big load off of Thurman’s shoulders, because the boxing public has been asking for Thurman to fight the unbeaten Spence for the last 2 years. Thurman said this week that he has no interest in fighting Spence right now. Thurman says that he could be read to fight Spence in 2019.

“He’s very talented. He’s a respectable fight. He’s a good challenge for Errol Spence,” said Thurman to Fighthype. “What people want to know is if Spence is going to get the stoppage. That would be impressive. We saw Matthysse do it, and he did it easy. He was competitive against Kell Brook. Kell Brook got to some of his skills and talent in the fight. Obviously, Errol Spence dominated at the end,” said Thurman.

Despite Thurman’s reservations about Spence being able to dominate Peterson, he’s still viewed as the favorite by many in the boxing world. Spence is seen as the better fighter of the two, and the guy that will emerge as the winner. Spence isn’t just seen as being better than Peterson. He’s viewed as being the top fighter in the 147 lb. division right now. Spence is considered the replacement for Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Right now, the only guys that stand in Spence’s way from proving that he’s the best is Thurman, Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Terence Crawford. Unfortunately, Thurman said this week that he has no intentions of fighting Spence for another 2 more years until 2019. It remains to be seen if both of them will still be on top by that point. With the way that Thurman is suffering frequent injuries, and gaining weight in between fights, it’s unlikely that he’ll still be unbeaten by the time 2019 rolls around. Spence will likely take the No.1 spot soon even if Thurman chooses to dodge him for the next 2 years.

”Some people say [Leonard] Bundu landed some shots,” said Thurman. ”When Errol’s in there mixing it up, he’s not afraid to mix it up, and he’s not afraid to take some punches. So, I think Lamont should be able to take some of his skills and land. It’s just going to come down to who’s the smart boxer, and who really wants it. I know they both want it, but it’s when you’re going toe-to-toe, round by round, second by second, who really wants it in that moment. We’ll find out,” said Thurman.

Leonard Bundu didn’t land as many punches on Spence as Thurman seems to think. Thurman had said before the fight that it was going to be a real test for Spence. It didn’t turn out that way. Spence easily beat Bundu. Now, Thurman is saying the same thing about Peterson being a real test for Spence.

Spence will take whatever shots Peterson can land so that he can stay in the pocket long enough to knock him out. That’s a given. Spence is going to turn the fight into a war, and look to get Peterson out of there.

Spence vs. Peterson will be televised on Showtime Boxing on January 20th.

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