By Jim Calfa: Abner Mares believes Vergil Ortiz Jr. would give Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman a lot of trouble at this point in his career. Mares says that the former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) didn’t look that great in his fight last Saturday night against Mario Barrios on February 5th.
In theory, the #4 WBC Thurman should need to fight #1 WBC Ortiz Jr (18-0, 18 KOs) to get a title shot against the IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
It doesn’t make sense for the World Boxing Council to make the 33-year-old Thurman mandatory for Spence without fighting the higher-ranked #1 contender Ortiz Jr, but this is business.
Thurman will likely be given a title shot against Spence without being ordered by the WBC to fight Ortiz because it’s a fight that will make a lot of money.
At this stage in Thurman’s career, he’s likely too old to be counted on to beat a fighter like Vergil Jr.
That was Thurman’s first activity in a long time since 2019, and he looked both good at bad against the former WBA ‘regular’ 140-lb champion Barrios (26-2, 17 KOs).
#4 WBC,#1 WBO Vergil Ortiz Jr. is fighting #4 WBO Michael McKinson (21-0, 2 KOs) on March 19 live on DAZN at Galen Center in Los Angeles.
Vergil Ortiz Jr gives Thurman trouble
“That would be a good fight,” said Abner Mares to ESNEWS when about his thoughts on a hypothetical match between Thurman and Vergil Ortiz Jr.
“Keith didn’t look that bad [in his comeback fight against Mario Barrios on February 5th],” said Mares.
“He didn’t look that great either against Barrios, a guy that was moving up in weight, but you’re talking about a young active fighter in his prime in Vergil Ortiz. I think Keith Thurman would have a lot of trouble.
“But the experience [of Thurman] would obviously help him a lot, but it would be a really entertaining fight,” said Mares.
“I agree,” said Ortiz when asked about his thoughts on Mares saying that Thurman would be in “A lot of trouble’ against him. “I think it would be a great fight, a very fan-friendly fight.
“It’s a good fight, a fight that we’ve asked for already,” said Vergil Ortiz Jr. on them trying to get a fight with Thurman in the past but with no luck.
“I think he said he won’t give him a chance because they didn’t give him a chance when he was coming up. I don’t know how realistic that fight can be to be made,” Ortiz Sr on a fight between Vergil Jr. and Thurman. “It would be a good fight.”
Spence beats Ugas if he’s healthy
“I still think Crawford wins,” said Ortiz Sr. when asked who wins between Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis and Terence Crawford. “I still think he’s the best at 147 in all-around talent.
“I think Jaron Ennis has the physical-ness over him, but Crawford is smarter, has the higher IQ with experience,” said Ortiz Sr.
“You can’t take anything away from Ennis. Crawford is just that guy at 147,” said Vergil Jr.
“It’s a good fight, a unification fight,” said Ortiz Jr. about the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Yordenis Ugas unification clash on April 16th at the AT& Stadium in Arlington, Texas. “I have to give the edge to Spence.”
“I would give it to Errol if Errol is healthy,” said Ortiz Sr. on Spence vs. Ugas. “Again, you don’t know. If he’s healthy, you give it to him because I’ve known Errol since he was a young kid. He’s very talented, and he works hard. He definitely works hard.
“No matter how good, how strong, and how talented you are, if you’re not healthy, you’re not healthy.
“A lot of times, people don’t realize these guys go into fights unhealthy, hurt, injured. It’s not like in football where you can go on the bench and come back.
“When you’re in a fight, you’re in a fight. If you tear or rupture a knee or something, you got to fight through it. You can’t call timeout, and you’re good for the next game. It doesn’t work like that. A lot of fans don’t understand that.
“This is a man’s sport. It’s a brutal sport. A lot of people criticize him and don’t know what he’s going through,” said Vergil Sr. on Gary Russell Jr. fighting with an injured arm for his last fight against Mark Magsayo, which he lost by a 12 round decision.