By Brian Webber: The WBC has now officially ordered IBF/WBA/WBC welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence to defend against his mandatory Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in his next fight.
In a move that had been predicted by many people ahead of time, the World Boxing Council ordered the unbeaten Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) to defend his WBC 147-lb title against #1 Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) during today’s convention for the sanctioning body in Mexico.
With the WBC ordering Spence-Thurman, it essentially takes the guesswork out of Spence’s next fight unless he wants to vacate that belt or have it stripped from him by the organization.
Given that Spence is still eager to fight the WBO 147-lb champion Terence Crawford in early 2023 for the undisputed welterweight championship, he will need to face Thurman if he wants to hold onto that valuable chess piece.
Now boxing fans are going to wait and see if Spence childishly vacates his WBC due to him perhaps still holding a grudge against Thurman for not fighting him earlier this year or if he’ll show maturity by forgiving his past resentment and defending against him.
On paper, the former WBA & WBC welterweight champion Thurman is a nightmare for Spence, seeing that he’s got power, speed, mobility, boxing ability, and the defensive skills to force the Texas native into a dogfight.
Spence looked vulnerable in his last fight against former WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas last April in a contest that saw both fighters hurt.
Ugas came close to knocking out Spence early in the fight after staggering him with a right hand that knocked him senseless for a brief moment.
The left hook that Thurman likes to fight could be a real problem for Spence in this fight if he’s not able to do something to defend against it.
Thurman landed that shot frequently in his last fight against Mario Barrios in February of this year, winning a wide 12 round unanimous decision.
‘One Time’ Thurman looked like he’d stepped out of a suspended animation chamber, showing no hint of age from the higher he’d been during the zenith of his career from 2012 to 2017.
The only hint of age on Thurman in the Barrios fight was his badly receding hairline, which wouldn’t be so noticeable if he cropped his hair short.
Given how superb Thurman looked in that fight, he’s got a real chance of defeating Spence.