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Errol Spence says he’ll stop Thurman in six rounds

Danny Garcia Errol Spence Jr Keith Thurman Shawn Porter

By Allan Fox: Errol Spence says he had a conversation with inactive WBA welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman last Saturday night and he told him that he’ll knock him out within six rounds. Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) says he’s going to be returning to the ring soon after being out of action with an elbow injury.

Spence is hoping that he can face Thurman in 2019, as long as he stays healthy. Spence first wants to fight newly crowned World Boxing Council welterweight champion Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) if possible. Porter looked good in beating Danny Garcia by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight was televised on Showtime World Championship Boxing.

Spence doesn’t want Thurman to waste time fighting Danny Garcia and Porter again, as ‘One Time’ already beat both of those fighters before. Those are nothing but recycled fights, as far as Spence is concerned. Unfortunately, Thurman won’t be fighting Spence when he does return to the ring, as he wants to take a tune-up fight before he looks to face tough opposition.

If Thurman fights Spence too soon after returning from his long layoff from boxing, he might not make go the full distance.

“Keith Thurman, he kind of disappointed a little bit,” Spence said. “He hasn’t been fighting. He hasn’t been active. They want to see big fights. They don’t want to see recycled fights with him fighting Shawn Porter and him fighting Danny Garcia. He needs to fight me. I need to fight Shawn Porter and then he needs to fight me. I told Keith Thurman that I’ll stop him. I just told him that I’m going to stop him before the 6th. He just laughed and didn’t say anything. They know I’m the top dog and he wolf in the division. I’m the guy. I’m not ducking no opposition,” Spence said.

Thurman vs. Spence might be too soon to generate huge interest from the boxing public. Thurman’s year and a half out of the ring hasn’t helped his popularity with the fans. Thurman needs to get a tune-up out of the way in November or December before he can start focusing on fighting top level opposition like Spence. Rematches against Garcia or Porter would be a good option for Thurman in early 2019. However, if Thurman continues to suffer injuries at the same clip that he’s been experiencing, then it might be better for him to take the fight with Spence as soon as around.

Thurman is predicting that Spence will defeat Mikey Garcia if the two of them face each other at the end of the year.

“Mikey’s loss,” Thurman said to Fighthype when asked by Fighthype who wins the fight between Spence and Mikey Garcia. “Mikey hasn’t fought at welterweight, and this is the number two welterweight. This means that Mikey is trying to compete with one of the best welterweights in the world. I think that’s a steep hill, son,” Thurman said.

It’s still unknown if Mikey will even fight Spence this year. There’s talk that the fight will won’t happen until 2019 if then. If Mikey signs with Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn, then there’s a good chance the Spence-Garcia fight won’t happen at all because of network issues. Spence fights on Premier Boxing Champions [PBC] on Showtime and Fox, whereas if Mikey signs with Hearn, he would be fighting on DAZN in the U.S.

”I told everybody that Porter is going to outwork him,” Thurman said. ”Danny’s a counter puncher. In the 6th round, I had it tied. In the 8th round, I thought Shawn was up by one round. I then thought Shawn definitely took the 11th round. I kind of had him taking the 12th round. Sometimes when Danny’s not having a good round, his best action is in the last 10 to 20 seconds in every round for that to be enough. He [Porter] obviously didn’t rush in from the start. He would have won by a bigger margin if he did, because I gave the first two rounds to Danny. The outside boxing played in Danny’s style, and I thought Shawn’ defense was a little sloppy tonight. I thought he was underestimating Danny a little bit. But at the end of the day, he still walked away with the win,” Thurman said.

Thurman says he saw the fight as a very close one, but the outcome was decided in the final rounds. Like a lot of boxing fans, Thurman thinks Porter would have won the fight by a wider margin if he had fought hard in the first two rounds in attacking Garcia right off the bat instead of waiting until round three before he began to fight hard.

“Of course, I did it one time. I’ll do it two times, three times and four times,” Thurman said when asked if he’ll beat Porter and Garcia in a rematch with both. “I’m the one that unified. That’s my belt. The only reason they’re fighting for it is because I vacated it,” Thurman said.

The way that Porter looked last Saturday in beating Garcia, he would have a very good shot at beating Thurman in a rematch. The only thing that could hurt Porter’s chances of beating Thurman is if he got off to a slow star like he did last Saturday. Porter couldn’t do that against Thurman and have a chance of beating him. Thurman is too good for Porter to just give away the first two rounds. Porter looked improved in terms of his movement and his attacking style.

Where Porter didn’t look improved was his bad strategy of giving the first two rounds away, and then not fighting aggressively on a consistent basis. Porter kept taking his foot off the accelerator in each round, and allowing Garcia to control periods of the rounds. Whether that was a mental or physical thing with Porter that caused him to fight in that manner is unclear. If Porter could have put constant pressure on Garcia, it would have been an easy fight for him. He would have beaten Garcia by a lopsided decision.

What the injured and inactive Thurman isn’t saying is that if he didn’t vacate his WBC welterweight title last summer, the WBC would have almost surely stripped him of his belt and given him the Emeritus Champion designation because he hadn’t fought since March of last year. The WBC wants their champions o fight at least once a year, and Thurman has been out of action for too long with his elbow and then his hand injury.

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