Keith Thurman wants Ugas fight, forcing Spence to fight the winner
By Chris Williams: Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is hoping to lure WBA ‘Super’ welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas to fight him first to help make his pay-per-view match against IBF/WBC champ Errol Spence Jr bigger.
Thurman wants Ugas to believe that he’s a good opponent to use as a springboard to increase the pay-per-view buy-rate for his match against Spence.
That’s Thurman’s pitch to try and get Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) to fight him first rather than go straight into a unification match against Spence (27-0 21 KOs).
Former WBA/WBC 147-lb champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) has no shot at getting Spence to fight him because he’s already said that he WON’T ever give him a fight, considering that he ignored him when he held the titles.
Thurman CAN’T let Spence fight Ugas because that would reduce his chances for a big payday to almost zero.
If Spence beats Ugas, that’ll give Errol a third title and it will effectively box Thurman out from getting a world title shot.
Winning the WBA belt from Ugas will give Thurman the prize that Spence wants, and that’ll help him get the PPV payday that he so badly wants.
Thurman talks about why WBA stripped Pacquiao
“I believe they [WBA] were lenient [with Pacquiao] all because of COVID. I do not believe that COVID had anything to do with the stripping of the title because they didn’t strip it last year,” said Keith Thurman to Thaboxingvoice.
“A long story short. Manny Pacquiao was trying to get back into the ring, but he wasn’t trying to represent the [WBA] welterweight world title, and that’s what got him stripped of the welterweight world title.
“He was talking about wanting to do a little dance with Conor McGregor, and then he was talking about wanting to get Ryan Garcia in the ring, who ain’t no welterweight. They were talking about exhibition matches.
“The WBA was tired of hearing about all these exhibitions. The WBA Super champ is the highest title in the WBA. They couldn’t tolerate someone that didn’t want to represent being one of the best fighters in the world.
“When it’s handed to you, you don’t feel like you really got it,” said Thurman about Ugas being elevated to WBA Super champ after Pacquiao was stripped. “So he’s going to have to defend it.
“What’s what he’s [Ugas] missing right now, a feeling of accomplishment. Everyone is going to have to acknowledge him as champion, and title him as champion,” said Thurman.
The only thing you can say bout the WBA’s move to strip Manny Pacquiao is why didn’t they act sooner?
Pacquiao had been sitting on the WBA’s ‘Super’ 147lb title for over a year, and the only fights that he seemed o be interested in taking were exhibitions against Conor McGregor and Ryan Garcia.
If Pacquiao wanted to defend his WBA title, he should have done it a long time ago rather than sitting on it since he won the belt in July 2019. That is an incredibly long time for the WBA title not to be in play.
Just think about all the contenders that could have fought for that belt in the last year and a half but didn’t get a chance because of Manny choosing to sit on it.
Keith Thurman trying to lure Ugas into fighting him
“It’s a great fight,” said Thurman about him fighting Ugas. “I like it. It’s frustrating for me to try and get a world title that I once owned from another man that didn’t take it from me.
“I like great fights. If Ugas-Thurman is a good fight and puts me in a position to get my world title back, it’s not a ‘no.’ I’m ready to go. He [Ugas] had a great fight against Shawn Porter.
“Some people believe he [Ugas] deserved to win the fight. He’s going to have to perform better than that Porter fight. He’s going to have to handle himself some Keith Thurman and get ready for that Errol Spence.
“Then all of a sudden maybe there is a different welterweight to dominate the division. Fighting Keith Thurman and beating Keith Thurman makes him [Ugas] and Spence a better pay-per-view fight,” said Thurman.
An increasingly more desperate Thurman is trying to persuade Ugas to face him first, and then use the victory to make his match against Spence that much bigger.
Thurman is trying to make himself sound like he’s harmless so that Ugas will want to take the fight with him.
Ugas-Thurman is a match that Thurman would have an excellent chance of winning due to speed, power, and boxing skills.
Ugas had a lot of trouble trying to solve the equation that Shawn Porter presented to him in 2019, and Thurman can give the Cuban fighter the same problems and more.
If Thurman beats Ugas, then he would have a chess piece to finally get the payday that he’s after against Spence. Thurman may not have wanted the fight with Spence earlier in his career before he became a star.Things are different now.
Thurman wants to showcase against Ugas
“I just had that thought just the other day. We’re on the same wavelength, man. That’s a great fight [Ugas vs. Thurman],” said ‘One Time’ Thurman.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to showcase my skills and talent once again, get my world title back and separate myself from the competition.
“Now that I’m close to a title, I want my straps back. I’m in the strap mode, strap season.
“I told Errol Spence that I look forward to seeing you in the ring one day, period. One day, we’re going to be lined up and we’re going to be ready to shoot,” said Thurman.
Ugas won’t exactly be a showcase opportunity for Thurman. I think he’s getting delusions of grandeur in believing that it’s a fight that he’s going to dominate.
Thurman has looked like a shell of the fighter he once was in his last two fights against Manny Pacquiao and Josesito Lopez.
With only five fights in the last six years, the inactivity has taken away much of Thurman’s skills. If he can still find a portion of the skills he once had, he might get past Ugas. It won’t be easy, though. Look what 40-year-old Pacquiao did to Thurman.
- Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano on July 3 or 10th, Spence vs. Ugas on card
- Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis ready for Spence and Crawford if they call
- Thurman says Crawford less dangerous for Pacquiao than Spence
- Eddie Hearn reacts to Arum’s 40-40-20 split for Crawford vs. Spence fight