By Adam Baskin: Errol Spence Jr’s fight against Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman at 154 in April will reportedly be sanctioned by the WBC as a mandatory defense for Errol’s welterweight title with the organization.
To be sure, it doesn’t make much sense for the WBC to sanction Spence’s non-title fight at junior middleweight as counting as a mandatory defense for his 147-lb belt, but it’s being done.
The only way Adam Baskin can make any sense out of this nonsensical move by the World Boxing Council is that by them sanctioning the Spence-Thurman bout, at least there will be a sanctioning fee that will be involved.
If the WBC didn’t sanction the fight, it means no sanctioning fee. I.e., no money. What’s surprising is that there won’t be a title on the line for the Spence vs. Thurman fight.
If Spence was going to go to the trouble to ask the WBC to sanction his fight with Thurman as satisfying his mandatory defense of his 147-lb belt, he should have taken it one step further for the sanctioning body to create a new belt for him and old ‘One Time’ to fight for to give some pseudo credibility for the fight. Casual boxing fans won’t know the difference.
If they see a fancy belt trotted out along with Spence & Thurman, they’ll figure that the fight is for a major title rather than a newly created job to add some significance to the fight, even if the strap has just been manufactured.
In the big scheme of things, it probably won’t matter anyway, especially if Spence soon after vacates all three of his 147-lb titles and never returns to the division so that he can swerve the dangerous Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford and Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
It’s highly unlikely Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) will bother come back down to 147 and get filleted by Boots & Crawford. Spence isn’t another General McArthur who once said, “I will return.”
Spence isn’t returning to 147 after he faces Thurman at 154 because there’s too much risk involved at welterweight, and he’s not about to want to deal with all the danger, especially if he’s drained.
Many boxing fans already believe that Errol is intentionally aging the 35-year-old Crawford, waiting until he’s old, gray, infirm, and incapable of putting up a good fight.