Shawn Porter wants Thurman to fight Ugas, while he fights Jamal James
By Chris Williams: Shawn Porter wants Keith Thurman to return to the ring to challenge WBA Super World 147-lb champion Yorgenis Ugas next, while he takes on the WBA regular 147-lb belt-holder Jamal James.
Porter views that as a good two-fights that could set up a much bigger one. Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) hasn’t said his plans for his next fight, but it’s not likely to be a world title shot, given that he hasn’t fought in two years.
Former IBF/WBC welterweight champion Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) is frustrated at his ability to get the big fights that he wants.
Most notably, he’s gotten nowhere with his attempts to line up a fight between him and WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford, despite being ranked #2 with the World Boxing Organization.
Porter’s idea of challenging little-known WBA secondary 147lb champion Jamal James (27-1, 12 KOs) and Thurman facing the WBA ‘Super World 147lb champion Ugas (26-4, 12 KOs) sounds like a great idea. Still, it remains to be seen if it’s feasible.
James, 32, recently won the WBA ‘regular’ title against Thomas Dulorme last August, and it’s likely his management is going to have him milk his title against soft opposition. They’ve got to know if they put James in with Porter, he’ll lose his WBA belt.
Ugas could be defending his WBA title against inactive former world champion Andre Berto next. Fighting that kind of opposition suggests that Ugas’ management wants him to hold onto his title long enough for him to fight a big name.
If they’re holding out hope that Manny Pacquiao will look Ugas’ way, they’re wasting their time. Pacquiao isn’t going to use up one of his last remaining fights on a no-name champion.
Thurman vs. Ugas & Porter vs. James
“They showed the champions in the video, and they showed Yordenis Ugas and Jamal James with the WBA [regular 147-lb belt], and, of course, showed Terence Crawford,” said Porter to Fighthype.
“I’ve been publically saying I wanted that Crawford fight. I do want that Terence Crawford fight. But we’re talking about our side of the yard.
“I kind of looked over at Keith [Thurman]. I didn’t say it, but why don’t you go get Ugas, and I’ll get Jamal [James], and then we’ll figure out what we’re going to do after that.
“Just saying all that, there’s a lot of great fights to be made. This is a great time to be in the sport, and if we make the right decisions and do the right thing, we can all leave the sport with our heads held high,” said Porter.
Thurman said this weekend that his management has something cooking for him, but he wouldn’t say. The fight that Thurman, 32, wants is to face the winner of the Errol Spence Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. It’s not looking good for Thurman in that department.
For Keith to get the winner, it would have to be Pacquiao, and he’s not shown any interest in fighting him again.
It would be better for Thurman to stop waiting for a big payday and get busy with his career. So be it if he no longer has enough in the tank to beat the young lions like Vergil Ortiz Jr or Jaron Ennis.
By Thurman sitting inactive, he’s killing off his career, and he doesn’t realize that yet.
For the newer boxing fans, they have no idea who Thurman is. To them, he’s just a balding fat guy that talks a lot of smack on YouTube.
Porter doesn’t understand why Crawford fight can’t happen
“I don’t know what it is,” said Porter on what’s stopping him from getting a fight against Terence Crawford. “I don’t really like to speculate and all that stuff.
“I understand the business of boxing, but when it comes to different promoters working together and different networks working together and all that kind of stuff.
“The only thing that I can say is I’ve seen it work once and now twice recently with Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder.
“So it gives me hope that something can be done, and I would love something like that for myself and for Terence Crawford. Obviously, you guys see that I’m sold on it, but I don’t know if it’ll happen. I’m not salty about it.
“I’m telling you, it takes a minute, and we talk in terms of boxing,” said Porter when asked if Thurman was shocked by Pacquiao’s speed and ability in the first round when the two fought in 2019.
“It can take you upwards from two or three rounds before you settle into everything that Manny is doing.
“With that being said, I do think that Keith is a little shocked. I do think that he was ready but not ready enough, and Manny is one of those guys. You’ve got to come to the ring ready,” said Porter.
Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank are looking to put him in with a big-money fight against Spence or Pacquiao. They don’t want Crawford to get beaten before then he hits the jackpot with that fight.
The fact that they’ve shown no interest in putting Crawford in with Porter suggests that they have strong doubts he’s capable of beating him.
With Crawford about to turn 34 and never having beaten anyone notable during his 13-year professional career, it’s understandable why Top Rank doesn’t want to put him in with Porter. There’s too much of a chance that he’ll lose.
Crawford is one of many examples of how promoters have taken a decent fighter but far from great maneuvered him carefully like a chess piece to capture world titles against lesser vulnerable champions.
You can argue Crawford would have never gotten anywhere if Top Rank had put him in with Pacquiao or Spence years ago.
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