Errol Spence and Keith Thurman closing deal for April on pay-per-view
By Brian Webber: Errol Spence Jr and former WBA/WBC welterweight champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman are closing a deal for a non-title fight in the 154-lb division in April on pay-per-view in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Mike Coppinger is reporting the news of Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) opting to bury the hatchet and fight the former 147-lb king of the division Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) in a bout at junior middleweight.
Spence, 32, has been given permission by WBA president Gilberto Mendoza to fight at 154 without the Texas native vacating his welterweight title with that organization.
IBF, WBA & WBO 147-lb champion Spence will have sixty days to wrap up a deal with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford for an undisputed championship.
If Spence fails to do so, he must defend against the winner of the battle between WBA ‘regular’ champion Eimantas Stanionis and Vergil Ortiz Jr.
After all these years of Spence saying he wouldn’t fight Thurman, he’s finally agreed to do so. You can think that Spence’s back was against the wall. If he didn’t fight the 34-year-old Thurman, who has seen better days and rarely fights anymore, he’d have to defend against his IBF mandatory Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis. That would be no cup of tea for Spence.
Assuming Spence doesn’t lose to Crawford or vacate his three welterweight titles to move up to 154, he’s got what could be two grueling fights against the Stanionis-Ortiz Jr winner.
What could increase the chances of Spence staying at 147 to take these fights is that he won’t need to worry about facing his IBF mandatory Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, who is waiting for his turn.
With three potential fights ahead of Spence, likely won’t be freed up to face Boots Ennis until 2024. Again, that’s assuming that Spence doesn’t cut and run for the safety of the 154-lb division to avoid two risky fights against Crawford & Boots Ennis, both of which he could lose.
Stanionis recently had emergency appendectomy surgery, resulting in his March fight against Ortiz Jr needing to be postponed. That match-up is now expected to take place in April, so it won’t be inconvenient for the winner to wait on Spence because he’s facing ‘One Time’ Thurman around the same time.
“Errol Spence and Keith Thurman are finalizing a deal for a PBC on PPV fight that is expected to take place in April,” said Mike Coppinger to ESPN. “This matchup will take place at junior middleweight.
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