Keith Thurman cuts off ponytail, wants Errol Spence
By Pete Strauss: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman buzzed off his trademark ponytail and looking for a new beginning after a year of a half of inactivity with his professional career.
The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is asking unified world champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence to give him a straight title shot, saying “don’t be petty” by freezing him out.
IBF/WBC welterweight champion Spence (27-0, 21 KOs), who is now a genuine pay-per-view star, says he wants nothing to go with the 32-year-old ‘One Time’ Thurman, who is coming off a loss to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019.
Thurman arguably avoided Spence when he held the WBA welterweight title from 2015 to 2017, and now it’s payback for Errol giving him the same treatment.
But it’s far worse because Thurman isn’t on his way up the way Spence was during those years. Thurman’s career has slowed to a crawl because of injuries, weight issues, and inactivity.
Thurman says Spence fighting his leftovers
“I don’t know why he doesn’t want great fights to happen,” said Thurman to Behind The Gloves about Spence not wanting to face him.
“All he’s doing is fighting people I already beat and now he doesn’t want to fight one of the best fighters in the welterweight division.
“It doesn’t make no sense. It’s like he’s content with trying to outperform me, even though he didn’t do that against Shawn Porter,” said Thurman.
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Thurman could help himself greatly if he becomes active again and beats some of the top contenders. With Thurman sitting on the sidelines, asking Spence for an undeserved title shot, it looks like he’s begging.
It doesn’t help Spence for him to give a fight against Thurman with him inactive and coming off a defeat to Pacquiao in 2019. If Thurman wants a title shot, he should beat some of these contenders:
- Shawn Porter
- Danny Garcia
- Vergil Ortiz Jr
- Mikey Garcia
- Egidijus Kavaliauskas
- David Avanesyan
- Jaron Ennis
- Kudratillo Abduqaxorov
- Abel Ramos
- Josesito Lopez
Keith coming off a 22-month layoff
“If he’s got his mind on unifying belts, that makes sense.,” continued Thurman about Spence. “There have been enough postponements [with Spence], and I believe it’s a great fight that can happen. 2019.
“I told everybody when I fought Josesito Lopez, ‘You’re not going to see the best Keith Thurman you’ve ever seen.
“I’m coming back from a 22-month layoff, and after that, I got presented with a Pacquiao match.
“Even though I had my hand issues, I can’t say no to a legendary fight. When I was 25-years-old, I was calling out Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao.
“You know, Floyd Mayweather left the game. So for Manny to give me the opportunity, I had to go toe-to-toe with a legend.
“That’s what I did after the knockdown. I took it right to him. He knocked me down backing up. So I stepped and said, ‘Okay, do it while I step forward.
“You want to do it here in front of all your fans in attendance and everybody watching all around the world.
“Let me do it while I’m walking forward. Let me walk into it. You’re going to get me to just get me. That’s what I’m about I’m bringing back that part of the dog that was in that fight, but he wasn’t fully awaken yet.
“Now I’m had all this time, and I’ve been training, staying active, stretching, doing different modalities, ice bathes, everything that it takes to be an elite athlete to take care of the body said, Thurman.
It’s not good for Thurman to ask for a fight against Spence right now, given his inactivity and loss to 41-year-old Pacquiao. What does Spence have to gain in giving Thurman a title shot right now?
A Spence-Thurman fight will be a lot bigger if Keith starts showing boxing fans that he’s serious about his career and not looking for a cash-out fight.
Thurman: Errol is fighting in my shadow
“I’m just ready for competition; I love competition,” said the inactive Thurman. “I’m the fighter who said, ‘I got an O that I’m not afraid to let it go. If you can beat me, beat me. Don’t say you ain’t going to fight me. Just beat me.’
“Stop it, man down. What you talking about? All this, ‘F*** Keith Thurman. Let’s not talk about Keith Thurman.’
“You still fighting in my shadow, bro. You still fighting in my shadow, and that’s all I got to say, man,” said ‘One Time.’ ‘I’ve heard of shadow boxing.
“We’ve done it, but you’re really fighting in my shadow, bro. I don’t know why you don’t want to scrap. It’s a great fight,” said Thurman in founding like he’s pleading for Spence to fight him.
“It’s a great [pay] check. I know you want to feed your family, baby. It’s a great check. Yeah, yeah, yeah, petty talk,” said ‘One Time’ Thurman when asked if Spence is ignoring him because he chose not to fight him from 2015 to 2017 when he held the WBA welterweight belt.
“Yeah, petty talk, come on. If that’s your angle, if that’s your thing, then you’re really emotional, dog. You might need a therapist, bro, because that’s petty talk.
Thurman might need to take some risks by proving himself worthy of a fight with Spence by proving he can beat a young gun like Ennis or Vergil Ortiz Jr.
Those guys would likely jump at the chance to fight the aging warrior Thurman to beat him and his name to their resumes.
Spence vs. Thurman would be big in 2021
“There wasn’t a fight. It doesn’t matter,” said Thurman in giving his reasons for not fighting Spence from 2015 to 2017. “What it will be today, it wouldn’t have been yesterday.
“It’s real greatness. Greatness vs. greatness. I’ve unified world titles, and you’re now a unified world champion.
“I’ve just came off of a loss [to Manny Pacquiao], you know? But you’re still fighting my competition [Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia], and acting like you don’t want to fight me. It’s all petty, bro,” said Thurman.
Realistically, Thurman has no chance of getting a fight with Spence right now, given the position he’s in. Thurman has got to lose the weight that he’s packed on since 2019 and beat someone that will impress Spence.
There’s only a handful of fighters that Thurman can take on that will get Sopence’s attention, and the risk would be high for Keith in fighting a top contender.
The perception is that Thurman only wants to fight the well-known welterweights like Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, and Spence rather than some of the young lions.
Unfortunately for Thurman, Porter and Danny are coming off losses to Spence, and neither of them has fought since losing to him.
- Thurman tells Spence: ‘I’m better than anyone you ever fought, let’s fight’
- Thurman says Crawford less dangerous for Pacquiao than Spence
- Keith Thurman to fight in July, targeting Berto or Alexander
- Thurman says Pacquiao’s hands felt like “cement,” wished he’d been tested