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Thurman: I’ll fight 2 times in 2018, and then I’m ready (for Spence)

Image: Thurman: I’ll fight 2 times in 2018, and then I’m ready (for Spence)

By Dan Ambrose: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he’ll be fighting 2 times in 2018, and then he’ll be ready to face IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence next year in a unification fight. Thurman, 28, wants to dedicate the entire year on tune-ups rather than facing Spence in a unification after one tune-up fight on May 19 on Showtime Boxing.

Thurman doesn’t feel comfortable taking on Spence unless he dedicates 2018 with taking tune-up fights. The risk here is if Thurman suffers another injury sorts, he might choose to dedicate next year to taking tune-ups as well. That means Spence might have to wait until 2020 for his unification fight. You get the general idea. When a fighter elects to devote an entire year to tune-ups following injuries, it can create a never-ending repetitious pattern of tune-ups when additional injuries occur.

Thurman says he wants ”something big” to happen this year with a rematch against Shawn Porter or Danny Garcia. Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) maintains that there was enough “drama” involved in his last fight against Danny Garcia last March for it to warrant a rematch between them.

“I was injured during the fight and before the fight,” Thurman said to secondsout about his last fight with Danny Garcia. “I wasn’t going to talk about it [the injury] because I didn’t want anyone to know about it. It was one of the reasons for me lowering my punch count and manipulating the situation the way that I did. Overall, I was happy with my performance,” Thurman said.

Thurman says he came into his March 4 unification fight with WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia with a preexisting elbow injury. Thurman not revealing the injury information until after the Garcia fight probably won’t make the bettors in Las Vegas too happy, as many of them don’t like to hear about injuries that weren’t disclosed ahead of time. If the bettors had known that Thurman had an elbow injury before the Garcia, it might have changed how they bet on the fight.

”In 2018, I’m going to be back in action,” Thurman said. I can’t come off an injury and go to the top of the ladder. Luckily, I’m at the top. We can possibly have a big fight. Arguably, a Shawn Porter rematch. Arguably, there’s enough drama to do another Danny Garcia fight. I don’t know what’s going to happen later this year. I know I’m going to be fighting May 10th. I’m going to be getting back in action,” Thurman said.

The Thurman-Porter rematch makes a lot of sense, as that was a close fight from start to finish. That fight is a big one. Thurman vs. Garcia 2 isn’t nearly as interesting. Garcia has been out of the ring ever since his loss to Thurman, and he’s only now about to return to the ring against Brandon Rios next month on February 17. If Garcia loses that fight to Rios, then that there won’t be any point in Thurman facing Danny. Thurman is already saying he plans on fighting 2 times in 2018, so it may not matter if Garcia loses.

”I want something big to happen later. But Errol Spence and expanding outside of this unification into another unification, it’s just not going to happen this year,” Thurman said. ”I know that the fans might not understand it, but that’s the way it is. I need to fight twice this year. After that, I’m ready,” Thurman said.

This is good news that Thurman feels he’ll be ready to take the fight with Spence after his next 2 fights. It’s better for Thurman to get the fight out of the way with Spence sooner rather than later. If Thurman waits too long, he’s going to end up too broken down with injuries for him to have a chance against Spence. Thurman’s injury problems limited him to 1 fight per year in the last 2 years. That’s a clear sign that Thurman is not able to stay healthy long enough for him to be an active fighter. Thurman was also injured in 2014 with a shoulder problem.

Thurman’s May 19th fight on Showtime Boxing could possibly be against Jessie Vargas. It’s unclear what’s holding it up from being announced, but there’s still a lot of time. The venue for the fight is at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Like the main event, the undercard still hasn’t been put together.

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