Thurman to fight in Dec or Jan, Brook a possibility
By Sean Jones: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he plans on fighting in December or January against possibly Kell Brook. Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) wants to get a find in 2020 if possible, as he hasn’t fought since his close 12 round split decision to Manny Pacquiao last July in 2019.
Former IBF welterweight champion Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) is also being considered as an opponent for WBO 147-pound champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford in November or December.
So, if Thurman is going to get the 34-year-old Brook, his management at Premier Boxing Champions may need to move son before Top Rank signs the British fighter.
It wouldn’t be a good deal for PBC to get in a bidding war with Crawford’s promoter Bob Arum for Brook, as there other options out there for Thurman to fight.
Thurman will be turning 32 in November, and he can’t just sit and let his career go by without fighting in 2020. As it is, Thurman has looked rusty in his last two fights against Pacquiao and Josesito Lopez.
He’s only fought twice in 2017 due to injuries, and he hasn’t helped himself by getting heavy in between contests.
Thurman vs. Brook possible
“Just waiting for some of these fights,” said Thurman to AHAT. “I’m looking at December or January. I talked to my team, and they’re looking in January because no one is locked in for January.
“It makes it easy to fight twice in one year. Who knows what we’ll do? Maybe we’ll spread out the gape or squeeze in three in one year. I don’t know.
“It depends on what kind of opponent they throw at me at the end of this year and the start of next year.
“I’ve heard rumors of Kell Brook wanting to fight me,” said Thurman.
Brook would be a dangerous opponent for Thurman to fight in coming off of a year and a half layoff. Keith might want to think hard before he makes the choice of taking on the British fighter, as he’s a big puncher.
If Pacquiao gave Thurman problems with his power and pressure, just imagine what Brook could do to him as well.
Thurman might regret it if he faces Brook, but he doesn’t have much choice. Keith has got to fight world-level opposition, and Brook is someone that the casual boxing fans are familiar with.
Thurman analyses Spence’s win over Porter
“One of my strengths has been my left hand,” said Thurman. “Back to my Shawn Porter performance, I was really proud of Shawn. To me, he had no chance.
“When he [Porter] fought Danny Garcia, he didn’t have the same intensity. He was trying to do things from the outside in the early rounds. Eventually, he started moving forward and working on the inside.
“I was proud of the effort that he [Porter] put in. You could tell that he trained hard. You could tell that he wanted to be champion of the world again. Errol blocked a lot of the shots.
“I think a lot of people did see EJ [Spence] get hit quite a bit in that fight. I know some people had the fight even as a draw, but Errol stayed nice and composed, and he did pick his shots, he went toe-to-toe, and then he dominated the second half of the fight.
It wasn’t just Spence that was getting hit against Porter. From what I saw of the fight, both guys got hit a lot in that contest, and Porter got the worst of it. He’s the one that got tired in the second half of the match and hit the deck in the 10th.
“In the early rounds, he [Spence] wasn’t dominating, but in the second half, his conditioning started to show,” said Thurman. “Shawn was starting to fade, and he was able to drop Shawn and walk away with the ‘W.’ That’s the most important thing,” said Keith.
Porter was worn down from the body shots that Spence was hitting him with, and that was the reason why he lost the fight. Spence swept the championship rounds against an exhausted Porter.
Keith expected more from Errol
“Not every fight is going to be the best performance of your career,” continued Thurman in analyzing Spence’s win over Porter. “Did he underestimate what Shawn was going to do in there? We don’t know.
“It was a great fight. I see him [Spence] as one of those guys in the top 10 that separates himself in the top 10 from the lower portion of the top 10.
“If you want to get in the top three or four, you’ve got to get through Shawn Porter because he’s solidly a top five all day. Some guys wonder if Ugas beat Shawn Porter. I tell people that in unofficial rankings, you can put Porter and Ugas at #5, but you’ve got to deal with Porter to ever get above #5.
“If you’re #7, a lot of times Porter beats #7. I’ve seen what he’s done his whole professional career, and for not being a technical kind of guy.
“I give him respect for what he does, and for someone that we might be able to handle, but you really need it to have it in you to handle all that because otherwise, Shawn Porter is coming out on top.
“And I thought I was going to see a better performance out of Spence. I thought he was going to be able to do something with his jab, but his jab couldn’t do anything with Porter. He couldn’t put his jab on his chest, and he couldn’t put his jab anywhere,” One Time said of Errol.
Although Porter did come back a little in the 12th, it wasn’t enough in that round to get the win over Spence.
Porter neutralized Spence’s jab
“His jab got neutralized, and I think that’s one of Errol’s strong suits,” Thurman continued with his critique of Sence’s win over Porter.
“But a lot of fighters do stand straight up in front of Errol, and when you do that, you let him poke you with that stiff-arm jab of his, it sets up that left hook to the body and the left uppercut to the solar plexuses.
“It’s everything off of that stiff hand. He’s got all three of those punches waiting after you let him post up on you and walk you down to the corner and post up on you.
“What I saw from him is once you increase the work rate for Spence, it’s not an easy fight for him.
“When you up the tempo on Errol Spence, his defense isn’t that great. His offense isn’t that great. Everything diminishes when you take the tempo to the next level. That’s what I learned from that performance.
“Mikey Garcia on the outside [fighting slowly against Spence], Porter didn’t do that tempo. He made it a lot closer. Even if he didn’t convince the judges, but he had the spectators in it. ‘You’re doing something.
“‘You’re really doing something.’ That’s what I got from that fight. I hadn’t learned much from Errol before that. There was only one thing [before that]. Now there’s to things I’ve seen from the boy. Outside of that, he’s a very solid fighter,” said Thurman.
Spence didn’t have a chance to use his jab much because Porter stayed in close most of the fight. There was no way that Spence could continually land his jab with Porter fighting on the inside.
Thurman talks Pacquiao fight
“Without the knockdown, I win,” said Thurman on his fight against Manny Pacquiao last year in July 2019. “If I could get that point back in my favor, it’s one point away from being a draw. I think the moment I accepted a draw is the moment I lost.
“Pushing for the ‘W’ is the only way you can win. Don’t slack off.
“I know he was fading,” said Thurman about Pacquiao in the later rounds. “That body shot in the 10th helped him a lot.
Thurman wasn’t consistent enough during the Pacquiao fight to impress the judges. While Keith did come back in the championship rounds, he blew it in the 10th in getting hurt by a body shot from Pacquiao.
“Landing the right shots at the right Time helped him out. I smiled after the knockdown. He sprang into action when I was retreating in a backline,” said Thurman.
“I didn’t take an angle. The body shot was a pain thing. He snuck that one in there. It was right in the middle of the ring, and it was an odd place to be hit with a body shot.
“When I was hit by a body shot by Luis Collazo, I was up against the ropes, and he was pressuring me. He kind of snuck that one in,” said Thurman about Pacquiao.
“I don’t take knees, and I don’t go down if I don’t have to because of the knockdown in the first round wasn’t there, I had the option to take a knee, but with a knockdown there, two knockdowns, now you know you need a KO to win.
“Some say it’s the body shot that won the fight, and some would say it was the 10th round that won the fight.
“Even with the body shot and even with the knockdown in the first round, one judge had me winning by two rounds,” said Thurman.
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