Thurman and Mikey Garcia seek title fights next, not stay-busy fights
Two of the hottest fighters in Showtime’s stable are strictly big-game hunting and looking for unification fights in their next outings, not stay-busy fights, according to Showtime boxing boss Stephen Espinoza, discussing the immediate futures of lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia and two-belt welterweight champion Keith Thurman.
In the case of Garcia (36-0, 30 knockouts), the 29-year-old is focused on facing either 135-pound titleholder Jorge Linares or the winner of the Terry Flanagan-Petr Petrov bout on April 8 for Flanagan’s WBO lightweight title. Meanwhile, Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) is eying the winner of Kell Brook-Errol Spence Jr. on May 27 for Brook’s IBF welterweight title, according to the network boss.
“He and Mikey are sort of similar in that they’re patient guys and they’d rather wait a couple extra months for the big fight than stay busy,” Espinoza said of Thurman and Garcia, speaking to a small group of reporters in Manhattan before a press conference on Thursday for Luis Ortiz-Derric Rossy on April 22.
“Mikey could rush back into the ring in June but if he could get Linares or Flanagan-Petrov in July or August, he’ll wait,” he continued. “Same thing with Keith. I think he wants to see what happens in the Brook-Spence fight and see how quickly that (can happen) because that’s the fight he wants most and if there’s a cut or a protracted turnaround then I think he would look at other options. But I think that’s the date he’s circled on the calendar.”
Thurman in particular, Espinoza noted, is focused on staying in the spotlight and tackling another big fight after his welterweight unification split-decision victory over Danny Garcia on March 4. “Keith was a guy if you go back two fights was really impatient on not getting his spot in the spotlight,” Espinoza said. “So now that he’s in the spotlight he still has the same mindset — I still want the big fights. Now, if something happens and he can’t get the winner of Brook-Spence for nine months, then he’ll look elsewhere. But I think for the time being he’s focused on the winner of that fight.”