Errol Spence lets fans know Thurman is SCARED of him
By Chris Williams: Errol Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KOs) made it clear today that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) is afraid to fight him. Spence says he’s been trying to get Thurman to fight him since he was 15-years-old.
Spence is now 27-years-old, and he holds the IBF welterweight title. The perception that a lot of boxing fans has is Thurman is terrified of fighting Spence. The fans don’t understand why Thurman would choose not to accept Spence’c challenge, as he’s been calling him out for ages. It looks bad the way Thurman won’t agree to fight Spence. What are the fans left to think with Thurman not saying yes to Spence’s challenge?
One of the things that WBA/WBC 147 lb. champion Thurman wanted before facing Spence was that he win a world title, which he accomplished last May in defeated Kell Brook. But now that Spence is a world champion, he’s still unable to get Thurman to fight him. Needless to say, the fight is going to have to happen one of these days so that they can prove who the No.1 fighter is in the 147lb. division.
Spence will be defending his IBF title this Saturday night against Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. According to Spence, Peterson was the best available contender that was willing to accept a fight with him. Spence wanted to fight Danny Garcia, but he went in a different direction in facing Brandon Rios.
“Nah, Keith Thurman wasn’t available,” said Spence to ESPN’s First Take when asked if he tried to get a fight against Thurman. “He didn’t answer the call. I think I think the super fight right now is me and Keith Thurman. I have a belt. He has 2 belts, so why not unify. I feel like he’s the best fight right now. That’s the easiest fight to be made. We both have the same manager, and we fight on the same network. What can I do?” said Spence.
Thurman is supposed to be fighting in April against Jessie Vargas. However, the fight still hasn’t been made and it’s now unclear if it will. Vargas is hopeful that he gets the fight with Thurman, but thus far he hasn’t. If Thurman doesn’t want the challenge that Vargas will bring to him, he could defend against an easier target in facing a lower level guys.
”I’ve been calling him out since I was 15-years-old,” said Spence about Thurman. ”It’s time to fight. At first, he said he was going to burst my hot air balloon. He said everyone was gassing me up, and he had nothing to prove fighting me. I have a belt. He says he wants to be undisputed and capture all the belts, so why not try and get my belt?” said Spence.
The bad thing about Thurman delaying the fight against Spence is the way he’s falling apart physically with each year he’s in boxing. Thurman has been breaking down physically since 2016. Thurman’s injury problems have limited him to 1 fight per year in the last 2 years of his career. Thurman is talking about wanting to fight 3 times in 2018, but the chances of that happening are almost zero. Thurman will be lucky if he can get 2 fights in this year. I don’t think for a second that Thurman will get a second fight in this year.
The boxing public aren’t excited about Spence’s fight against Peterson this Saturday. That’s a lackluster fight with 2 guys that are sleepwalking their way through the hyping of their fight on Saturday on Showtime Boxing. One of the reasons for the lack of interest in the fight, besides Peterson being an unspectacular opponent, is the lack of trash talking between the two fighters. It’s been really mild trash talking with Peterson and Spence. It’s like neither of them wants to upset the other guy by saying anything bad about them. As such, the fight has gotten very little attention from the boxing public in social media. That’s why during Spence’s interviews, he’s being asked mostly about Thurman and Terence Crawford rather than his fight on Saturday against Peterson. The public already sees the fight as a win for Spence.
“He was the only guy available,” said Spence about Peterson. “I didn’t want to just fight anybody. I wanted a showcase fight, and I wanted to fight a top contender, a top guy. Lamont Peterson, he’s a top guy. Some people say he beat Danny Garcia. So, I wanted to fight a guy that I could show my skills against,” said Spence.
As you can see, Spence is left making excuses for why he’s facing Peterson instead of someone more compelling like Thurman or Crawford. Those fights are not easy to make. Spence can’t force Thurman to fight him. In the case of Crawford, he’s with Top Rank, and they’ve lined up against one of their own fighters in April in WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn. If Crawford wins that fight, then Spence could be an option for him if his promoters are willing to make that fight. It’s not going to be up to Spence whether the fight with Crawford gets made. It’s going to be his manager Al Haymon and Top Rank’s call if they want to get that fight done. If they don’t make the fight, then Spence will have to make do with the limited opposition that he has to fight. Beyond a fight with Thurman, there aren’t a lot of options in the future for Spence to fight at 147. There’s Shawn Porter, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia and possibly Jeff Horn if his promoters at Top Rank allow him to fight Spence.
“I think I compare with him a lot,” said Spence in talking about him comparing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Floyd was a special fighter standing out in his career, and I’ve been doing the same thing. I’m about getting belts. I want to be the undisputed champion of the world, and it starts this Saturday against Lamont Peterson,” said Spence.
Mayweather had a lot easier when he was coming along in his career. Mayweather had no problems being matched against VERY good fighters unlike Spence. By the time Mayweather was Spence’s age at 27, he had already fought and beaten these fighters:
• Diego Corrales
• Carlos Hernandez
• Jesus Chavez
• Jose Luis Castillo
• Vicoriano Sosa
• Philip Ndou
• Emanuel Agustus
• Angel Manfredy
• Justin Juuko
• Genaro Hernandez
Mayweather had already been involved in 10 big fights by the time he was Spence’s age at 27. In contrast, the only big fight Spence has had is Kell Brook. That’s it. All the other fighters on Spence’s resume have been lesser names like Leonard Bundu, Chris Van Heerden, Samuel Vargas, Phil Lo Greco and Chris Algieri. Mayweather was put in great fights by his promoter. It’s too bad we haven’t see Spence matched against big names, but there aren’t at 147. Mayweather is retired, Manny Pacquiao is about to retire, and Thurman wants no part of fighting Spence. It’s going to be up to Crawford being the guy that eventually steps up to face Spence in the future if his promoters at Top Rank give him the green light to take the fight. I don’t see why they wouldn’t make that fight.