By Allan Fox: Coach Bernie Davis feels that Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is an excellent option for Terence Crawford to face next if the rematch with Errol Spence Jr. doesn’t happen right away.
Thurman stopped being active after he got a big payday against Danny Garcia in 2017. After that fight, Thurman went off the grid and has rarely been heard of since. The motivation/ambition that Thurman once had disappeared after his fight with Danny & 40-year-old Manny Pacquiao.
The boxing world & Showtime would like to see Crawford fight the young phenom Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis (31-0, 28 KOs), who is set to take over as the next star in the welterweight division.
Ennis needs the aging 36-year-old Crawford’s scalp to add to his collection to take his career to the next level. That would be a selfless move on Crawford’s part, like how Oscar De La Hoya fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the end of his career to help Floyd become a massive PPV star.
Instead of thinking about the next generation, Crawford could face the inactive, over-the-hill Thurman if his rematch with Spence doesn’t happen.
It would be good for the sport if Crawford were to fight Boots because then he could take the torch from the Omaha, Nebraska native and carry the welterweight division for the next ten years.
Boots should take the baton from Crawford because that would make him an instant PPV attraction, but it looks like Bud & his coach Davis don’t want that to happen.
Bernie views the former WBA & WBC welterweight champion Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) as a “good money fight” for Crawford (40-0, 31 KOs).
‘One Time’ option for Terence
Crawford, who is NOT good at marketing his fights, needs someone that can do the hard work in promoting the fight the way Thurman can.
A lot of boxing fans with short memories fail to remember that Crawford’s past fight before facing Spence didn’t attract a lot of interest. It was only when Crawford fought the popular Spence that he had a fight that created a buzz.
That’s why Crawford must get the inactive Thurman to help market his next fight if the rematch with Spence doesn’t occur.
Thurman hasn’t fought in a year and a half since his win over former WBA 140-lb champion Mario Barrios in February 2022, and who knows what the old ‘One Time’ Thurman has left at this stage of his career.
That said, it’s better for the 36-year-old Crawford if Thurman is shot to bits because it’ll make Bud look better than he actually is.
It is a similar situation to Crawford’s last fight against the weight-drained, inactive, car crash-depleted Spence, who made Bud look better than he is by being worn down from those three things.
“I ain’t going to say that he’s going to leave 147 behind because I know he can make the weight, but it’s like where we’re at right now,” said coach Bernie Davis to MillCity Boxing about Terence Crawford moving up to 154.
“We should have already been there . If I’m him [Crawford], then I’m fighting Keith Thurman. If the Errol Spence rematch don’t happen, then I’m fighting Keith Thurman. And if I’m not fighting Keith Thurman, then I’m fighting Jermell Charlo,” said Davis.
Well, Bernie shouldn’t get his hopes up too much about Spence not fighting Crawford next because he likely will use the rematch clause to fight him in December.
Thurman = Crawford’s hardest fight
“[Jermell] coming off a loss [to Canelo], and we’re fighting him, it might take some of the luster off of it,” Davis said. “Either way, he’s still the undisputed champion at 154 pounds [until he steps foot inside the ring with Canelo on September 30th and is automatically stripped of his WBO title].”
Of course, the luster would be off a Charlo-Crawford fight if Jermell gets beaten by Canelo Alvarez on September 30th.
Not only would Jermell be backing into a fight with Crawford off a loss, but he’d also no longer be the undisputed champion at 154 because he will be stripped of his WBO title when he faces Canelo.
Crawford might as well fight Tim Tszyu for the WBO junior middleweight title or bite the bullet and face Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
That pipe dream that Crawford has about him fighting Canelo at 168 next has little to no chance of that happening because the Mexican star isn’t going to be willing to open himself up to massive criticism from fans for twice in a row choosing to fight guys from weight classes below his in defending his undisputed championship at super middleweight.
“Tank, Boots, Keith Thurman,” said Davis naming off potential options for Crawford. “Bud is a ticket-seller; Bud is a highlight guy. I think Keith Thurman can sell the fight.”
Bernie left out the part where Crawford is ONLY a ticket seller in Omaha, Nebraska, but nowhere else. There is a difference, you know.
“He won’t be the favorite, but I think he can sell the fight,” said Bernie about the faded old veteran Thurman. “Bud thought that would be his hardest fight. He always picked Keith Thurman as his hardest fight than any other guy.”
Thurman is definitely NOT the hardest fight for Crawford at 147. Indeed, you can argue that there are at least seven or eight better fighters at welterweight that would give Crawford a more difficult fight than Thurman.
Difficult fights for Crawford:
– Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis
– Eimantis Stanionis
– Vergil Ortiz Jr
– Roiman Villa
– Yordenis Ugas
– Shakhram Giyasov
– Cody Crawley
“I think Keith Thurman’s feet. He moves a lot. So that always causes a problem, movement,” said Bernie. “I think that’s where it’s at. Shawn Porter is a bull. Errol Spence was a bulldozer, but when you’re talking about a meeting force, that’s easier than a fleet-footed chasing someone. So, I think that’s where that came from.
“I think Bud built in his mind, ‘Shawn Porter is not going to bulldoze me. Errol Spence, his strength, he’s going to come with this, but I know what I’m going to do when this moment comes. I’m telling myself over and over what I’m going to do. I’m practicing; I’m believing in it.’
“Instead of when a guy is dancing on you. How are you going to? But I think again, Keith Thurman is an established guy; he’s a good fighter. He don’t have the best style, but he’s an accomplished fighter, he’s a crafty fighter, and it’s a good fight to have, a good money fight,” said Davies.
“There’s no shame in losing to a guy like Canelo, who only has two losses now and is Hall of Fame and has all kinds of skillsets that Canelo Alvarez holds.
“Boots [Ennis] is a hell of a young guy to have, and it’s a good thing for Bud, too, because a guy like Boots will keep you motivated and keep you hungry and protect your throne. Still, know that you can’t get comfortable. Either way, it’s good for Bud. I’m happy for him.
“If the Jermell Charlo don’t happen, then I’ll probably move up. Fighting for a vacant title will officially make me a world champion. Jermell is an accomplished fighter and going into the veteran stage.
“I hate that he’s going to fight Canelo. I feel he’d [Jermell] have a good chance of beating Tszyu and then fight us.
“Canelo is a good fight, but it’s more of a fight that he could lose. He’s definitely coming to win the fight. Tszyu is a more winnable fight,” said Bernie.