Thurman angry at Spence: ‘What kind of fighter are you?’
By Dan Ambrose: Keith Thurman is angry and upset at Errol Spence Jr, and he doesn’t understand how a fighter doesn’t want to get in the ring to face him. The former welterweight champion Thurman wants Spence to stop holding a grudge and fight him.
Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is well aware that Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) wanted to face him early on in his career, but the timing wasn’t right for the match to take place.
Now that Thurman, 32, is no longer the champion, the #1 guy at 147, Spence has shut him down, saying he won’t fight him. It’s one of those lose-lose situations where Spence and Thurman both end up losing out because of the money they could make.
Spence can afford to lose money, given that he’s still on top right now in the prime of his career. Will he have regrets later if he chooses not to give Thurman the fight he’s asking for? That’s the big question.
If Thurman wants the fight with Spence, he’s probably going to need to beat one or two of the top welterweights to put himself in a position to force the match. If one of the IBF or WBC orders Spence to face Thurman, he’ll have no choice.
Thurman: Spence won’t say my name
“‘Fight Spence or Crawford?’ I like the Spence fight, baby. That’s two belts, and one of them is mine anyway,” said Thurman on social media. “The WBC was mine. Ain’t no one took that from me.
“Pacquiao took the WBA. I gave up the WBC. Ain’t nobody stripped that from me, man. Rematch, I’ll handle him. We’ll be back. Mikey [Garca] vs. Thurman, that’s a fight.
“I like Mikey Garcia. He’s always been nice, you know? Errol has got my belts. I know, he’s got them. And I was an undefeated unified welterweight champion, and then I got injuries.
“I never got to fight EJ [Spence], and then he got into a car accident. Now he doesn’t want to say my name. ‘F*** Keith Thurman.’
“Look man, whatever happened in the past is the past. We’re in a new year. Let’s be real again,” said Thurman in wanting Spence to let go of his grudge.
It sounds like Thurman has matured a lot recently, but he’s asking a lot of Spence for him to adopt the same view of putting the past behind him.
Spence is like many people who hold onto a grudge, and don’t let it go, even it’s negatively impacting their own lives.
Keith doesn’t understand how Errol could give up
“If you ever wanted to get at somebody ever in life, like you wanted to get at them, and then the opportunity comes where you can get at them,” Thurman said.
“Then all of a sudden you don’t want it, what kind of fighter are you? If I ever wanted a fight and I got the opportunity, I’m going to take the fight.
“In an example, when I fought Shawn Porter, that’s not when I wanted to fight Shawn Porter. I wanted to fight Shawn Porter a year before that, but his daddy went and made a comment, talking about some article, talking about, ‘yadda-yadda-yadda, we don’t have to fight Keith Thurman right now. We’re the champ. Thurman don’t got a belt. When he gets a real world title, we can fight him then and unify.’
“What happened to Porter? He lost the title [to Kell Brook]. But when the opportunity came for Thurman to be in the ring with Porter, I always wanted that match-up.
“I always wanted that gig, so I got it. I’m just Keith Thurman, baby. I’m just ‘One Time.’ I’m not these other people out there. So I can’t speak for them.
“But if you ever wanted it, how does that fire and that passion, how does it die out? I don’t understand these fighters, I just don’t,” Thurman said.
Thurman doesn’t quite realize how much Spence wanted to fight him years ago, and he was constantly calling him out and getting nowhere.
Spence needed that fight to take his career to the next level, and Thurman denied him that opportunity. You can argue that Thurman’s decision to freeze Spence out hurt his earning potential for several years.
Pacquiao couldn’t talk after Thurman fight
“I’m tired of these s*** a** articles being written during this COVID time,” said Thurman in complaining about being analyzed and critiqued.
“Lazy mother f***. Ain’t even calling up Thurman, getting Thurman’ side of the story. ‘Too late, Pacquiao beat you.’
“Yeah, he got me. It is whatever, you know? It ain’t like he whipped my a** or anything. He had to leave the [post-fight] press conference.
“His face was all, you know? He took some shots, believe that. I could sit there and talk after the fight. He had to go lay down. That’s why I don’t care. Just be in the ring with ‘One Time.’
“You’re going to learn something, man. I’ve been in with the dogs until the beginning of time, okay?” said Thurman.
It’s good that Thurman is honest about how he lost the fight to Pacquiao because it would be disappointing if he were in denial about the defeat.
If Pacquiao couldn’t talk after the fight, as Thurman says, you have to look at the Filipino star’s age and the fact that he started his career at a much lighter weight.
If Thurman were 40 and fighting in a much higher division than the one he started his career, he’d likely have similar problems trying to talk after his fights.
It does look bad that Thurman, a much younger and bigger fighter than Pacquiao, still lost to him.
Keith took a lot of early beatings
“I’m going to be real. I’ve got one more story for y’all,” said Keith. “Thurman wasn’t always great. Thurman wasn’t always one of the best, okay? So for all your aspiring young fighters, just keep fighting hard.
“Keep learning every single day. Get your a** whupped. Take that whipping like a man, and then get back in there and get whupped again until one day, they ain’t whipping you no more.
“Come on now. Not a lot of people saw my struggle. Y’all can say what you want, but there are people that know what Thurman has been through.
“There are people that know the people that I used to spar against coming up when I was a young one, okay? I took my shots.
“They don’t just beat Thurman down no more. That ain’t happening. It’s Thurman vs. everybody in 2021,” said Thurman.
Like many young fighters coming up, Thurman had to take some beatings while he was learning his trade.
It’s good that Thurman didn’t give up and quit like a lot of novices when they first start, and they out how difficult it is to learn how to fight.
Thurman doesn’t realize he’s starting over again because he’s lost a lot from his game through inactivity and injuries since 2017. Thurman has fought only two times in the last four years since his fight with Danny Garcia in 2017.
With that kind of inactivity, he’s going to need to get a lot of fights under his belt to try and get back what he lost.
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