Keith Thurman expected to return in October
By Dan Ambrose: WBA Super World welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is expected to be back in action in October, possibly on the undercard of IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. vs. Mikey Garcia. Showtime vice president of Sports Stephen Espinoza says 29-year-old Thurman could be fighting in October.
Thurman has been beset with injuries since beating former WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia by a 12 round split decision last year in March. The injuries have kept Thurman on the sidelines licking his wounds for the last 17 months. If Thurman returns in October, he’ll have been out of the ring for 19 months.
”Per Steve Espinoza in my lengthy interview with him on this week’s Boxing Beat, he could be back around October and might wind up on the undercard of a big event, perhaps Spence-Garcia,” Dan Rafael of ESPN.com said during his chat on Friday.
The opponent that is being mentioned as Thurman’s opponent is Josesito Lopez (36-7, 19 KOs). Lopez. 34, has won his last three fights since being stopped in the 6th round by Andre Berto three years ago in 2015.
Thurman has a lot of options for big money unification fights once he gets his October tune-up fight ou of the way. The winner of the September 8 fight between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia is an option for Thurman to fight. Porter and Garcia are battling for the vacant World Boxing Council welterweight title. The winner of that fight vs. Thurman would be a great match for the fans. IBF champion Errol Spence also is interested in facing Thurman, although it’s doubtful that he’ll want to face him until he’s taken on the Garcia-Porter winner. Thurman has already beaten Garcia and Porter in the past, so they’re safe options for him.
Terence Crawford vs. Jose Benavidez to fight on October 13 in Omaha
WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs) will be fighting on October 13 in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. This will be Crawford’s first defense of his WBO tile that he won last June in stopping champion Jeff Horn in the 9th round.
Crawford’s opponent is expected to be #14 WBO Jose Benavidez (27-0, 18 KOs). This is a fight that Crawford and Benavidez’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank is interested in making. It’s not the fight that the boxing world is asking for. They want Crawford to face IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in a unification fight. However, that fight is not doable at the present time. It’s possible that in a couple of years, Spence vs. Crawford can take place. Right now, it’s not a big enough match for
Artur Beterbiev with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing USA for three fights
IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs) is signed with Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn for the next three fights. Unfortunately, the chances of a unification fight for Beterbiev during that three-fight deal is unlikely to occur during that time unless his opponents are willing to fight on DAZN, which is where he’ll be fighting. Hearn plans on having all of the 33-year-old Beterbiev’s fights streamed on DAZN. Beterbiev fighting on DAZN will make it all but impossible to get the other 175 pound champions Adonis ‘Superman’ Stevenson and Eleider Alvarez to fight him. Stevenson fights on Showtime Boxing, and Alvarez is now fighting on HBO. Neither of those fighters are likely to agree to fight Beterbiev on DAZN.
Beterbiev’s next fight will be against Callum Johnson (17-0, 12 KOs) on October 6 on DAZN at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Beterbiev is a good fighter, but he’s often inactive and he’s had promotional and injury problems that has kept him outside of the ring.
HBO doing only one 24/7 Canelo-GGG 2 episode
HBO will be surprisingly doing only one episode of the 24/7 Canelo-GGG 2 of behind the scenes look at Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin on August 28 for their rematch on September 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was surprising that HBO isn’t doing at least two episodes to help attract interest in the rematch from the casual boxing fans. 11 months after the previous Canelo-Golovkin fight last September, there’s surprisingly little buzz about the rematch, which takes place next month on September 15.
There’s a lot of anger from boxing fans about the results of the first Canelo-GGG fight, as it looked like the judges did a poor job in scoring the fight. With Canelo getting a draw that the fans felt he didn’t deserve, it put a dark stain on the fight. Many fans feel that the judges won’t be fair in scoring the rematch, especially with the contest taking place at the same venue as the previous fight at the T-Mobile Arena. It’s believed that Triple G is going to need to be near perfect for him to have a shot at winning a decision against Canelo.
Jarrett Hurd to fight at end of year in tune-up
IBF/WBA junior middleweight champion Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KOs) will be taking a tune-up level fight towards the end of the year to test out his surgically repaired shoulder, according to Dan Rafael. It won’t be a huge fight though. Hurd, 27, wants a unification fight against WBC 154 pound champion Jermell Charlo, but that fight isn’t expected to take place until next year. Hurd needs a tune-up to get his shoulder ready for the Charlo fight.
Hurd defeated WBA Super World champion Erislandy Lara by a 12 round split decision last April in an exciting fight. Hurd came on late in the fight, knocking Lara down in the 12th round and getting the better of him in the last three rounds. The pressure that Hurd put on Lara was huge, and the Cuban fighter eventually melted and wound up losing. A lot of boxing fans would like to see a rematch between the two, but it’s going to have to wait. Hurd wants capture Charlo’s WBC title first. It’s also possible that Hurd will move up to middleweight if and when he defeats Charlo. Hurd is huge for the 154 pound weight division. He won’t be able to make weight for the division too much longer without draining himself. Hurd wants to go after top middleweights Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez. He’ll have to prove himself against Jermell Charlo first. A future fight against Jermall Charlo is a great match as well.