By Sean Jones: Keith Thurman wants to see Errol Spence Jr fight with more courage against Danny Garcia on December 5th, which he showed in his safety-first win over Mikey Garia in 2019. ‘One Time’ Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) says Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) gave Garcia too much respect in that fight and wasn’t exciting from a fan perspective.
Spence will be defending his IBF/WBC welterweight titles against Danny Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) on December 5th live on Fox Sports pay-per-view at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Former IBF/WBC 147-lb champion Thurman would like to fight the winner, which he expects to be Spence. That might not happen if Spence continues to be opposed to the idea of facing the 31-year-old Thurman, who he views as a “fake,” and he doesn’t want to help him.
During the four years that Thurman held world titles at 147 from 2015 to 2019, he never showed interest in defending his belts against Spence. The Texas native Spence noticed that he’s not going to give Thurman a chance now that he’s no longer a world champion.
Spence, 30, has made it clear that if he beats Danny on December 5th, he’ll go after Manny Pacquiao or Terence Crawford. He wants those two before he moves up to 154.
Thurman wants Spence fight
“I was looking forward to fighting him in 2020,” said Thurman to Premier Boxing Champions podcast in talking about Spence. “Maybe because of the loss to Pacquiao, he doesn’t have that much interest, but the fans have an interest.
“On IG, I was calling it a ‘BL,’ a barely lost, and I believe I have everything it takes the be the #1 welterweight in the world,” Thurman said in still having problems adjusting to his loss to Pacquiao. “The ball will be in his court, but I don’t understand why he doesn’t want to play ball.
“Let’s play ball; let’s get in there. There’s been a lot of delays, things have happened. I’ve been injured,” Thurman said in talking about wanting to fight Spence. “I’ve had difficulties in my career, and they weren’t all optimal. But I’m finally coming to a time, and it’s perfect timing.
“I don’t know why he’d want to go against that,” Thurman said of Spence. I respect him as a fighter, and I’ve always looked forward to stepping into the ring with the best welterweights in the division,” said Thurman in making a case why Errol should fight him.
It would be a good idea for Thurman to forget about fighting Spence permanently. Realistically, that fight is not going to happen. The only way it can happen is if Thurman turns his career around, stays injury-free, and frequently fights against the best.
If Thurman becomes a star, Spence would likely be interested in facing him. Unfortunately, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. Thurman is on the downside of his career, and his body is becoming increasingly fragile as he advances into his 30s.
Thurman is starting to come to terms with the fact that he has few options for well-paying fights following his 12 round decision loss to Manny Pacquiao in 2019.
Pacquiao, 41, isn’t interested in fighting Thurman again, and Danny Garcia, Terence Crawford, and Shawn Porter aren’t immediately available.
There would be interest from boxing fans in a fight between Thurman and Porter or Danny, but those won’t be big paydays given their recent defeats.
If Danny loses to Spence on December 5th, it won’t be worth much if Thurman faces him immediately after.
Errol can’t let Danny Garcia hit him
“He’s only handling the work that I’ve had already, and he wants to bypass me,” ‘One Time’ Thurman said of Spence facing his former foes Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.
“I don’t understand how you can lay your head down at night and feel like you’ve done everything at 147 and just keep moving,” said Thurman about Spence.
“And I think he was frustrated coming up that I was in the lead,” Thurman continued about Spence. “I accomplished things before him, and my record was built up before him.
“A lot of people wanted to see him do more before we gave him true recognition. It’s the fight game. I don’t understand why he’d get too offended by it. He’s proven himself.
“He’s got not to get hit by Danny Garcia real soon, but we all favor Spence in that fight right now. But I was right next to Danny.
“We were commentating for PBC for the Porter-Spence fight, and Danny thought that he let Porter hit him way too much. Here’s Danny saying, “I want Errol Spence. Let me hit him.’
“I love that hunger, and I want to see what happens when he does get hit with that Philly brick. Danny is the hardest puncher I’ve been in with in the ring.
“He never hit me flush, but he hit my shoulder, and my shoulder told my chin, ‘Don’t let that hit you.’ He’s [Danny Garcia] a little slow, but he does try and time you,” Thurman said.
Spence cannot afford to get hit by Danny Garcia’s left hooks on December 5th, especially after what he went through with his car crash in October 2019. Even if Spence weren’t coming off a terrible crash, it wouldn’t be a good idea for him to be hit by Danny’s left hook.
Thurman didn’t react well when he was hit hard by Danny Garcia in the sixth round of their fight in 2017. From that point on, Thurman was in the retreat mode and just coasting with the lead that he’d built up in the first five rounds.
If not for Garcia starting slow in that fight, he’d have beaten Thurman. It was interesting, though, to watch how Thurman gave up the fight at the midpoint f the contest after he got nailed by one of Danny Garcia’s no-look left hooks.
Spence must take risks against Garcia
“He’s a little more clever than I wanted to give him credit for going into the fight,” continued Thurman about Danny Garcia. “We’re all at the top for a reason.
“This is a sport, and many people love it. I’m looking forward to that match-up [between Spence and Garcia] to see what happens. I don’t take Danny out of the fight, but I give him the old puncher’s chance.
“I don’t give him round by round. He wasn’t able to beat Shawn Porter round by round. He wasn’t able to do me round by round. I don’t give him a round by round, but I do give Danny Garcia a puncher’s chance, so let’s see.
“I caught Danny early too. Errol might hurt Danny the same way. Errol has got the power of his own. We’ve seen it time and time again, but it all depends on how he wants to fight, and it all depends on how he [Spence] reacts when he feels that punching power.
“Does he [Spence] want to show Danny what he can do, or does he want to stay on the outside as he did against Mikey Garcia?
“I think he gave Mikey Garcia a lot of respect, and I dn’t think he took many risks, but he dominated the fight.
“From a fan perspective, I want to see him [Spence] take more risks and do more damage to his opponent. But his opponent wasn’t able to do anything to him, and he dominated with a victory.
“So what kind of performance are we going to see from Errol Spence under these circumstances? That’s what I’m wondering,” said Thurman.
Ideally, Spence should take risks against Danny if he wants to impress boxing fans and ensure that he gets the win, but he might not be willing to do that. The timing is bad for Spence to fight aggressively against Danny.
It’s not just the fear of Spence getting hurt by Danny. It’s the car crash and the fact that Spence took a lot of punishment in his last contest against Shawn Porter last year in September.