Tuesday, May 22, 2018  |


Keith Thurman: ‘I’m not worried about Errol Spence’

Photo by Ed Diller / DiBella Entertainment


It’s been 11 months since we last saw WBA and WBC welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman in action.

On March 4, 2017, Thurman edged Danny Garcia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn by 12-round split decision to unify the division. But although Thurman (28-0, 22 knockouts) got the victory that night, the ensuing months have been frustrating for “One Time”, who is rated No. 1 by THE RING at 147 pounds.

Heading into the Garcia fight, Thurman began to feel that all was not well with his right elbow. In fact, the problem became so intense that it led to him tapering down sparring and any extensive training that involved utilizing the joint.

“If I’m going to be hurting myself, then I may just as well do it on the day that counts,’ Thurman told RingTV.com on Tuesday. “We were just smart. We planned out with doctors how to get through the camp and how to get through the fight.”

Thurman (right) tags Garcia. Photo by: Ed Diller/DiBella Entertainment

Six weeks after besting Garcia, Thurman returned to New York to watch former opponent Shawn Porter stop Andre Berto in nine rounds. During his stay, the fighter underwent elbow surgery at the acclaimed Hospital for Specialist Surgery (HSS).

“The elbow was all messed up,” revealed Thurman. “I posted a picture on Instagram. The swelling was really intense. I knew it was gonna take time to come down. Elbows are funny little joints and they need a lot of work to come back around. We didn’t rush it, we’ve been patient.”

During Thurman’s time out, there’s been a lot of change at 147 pounds: Porter has worked himself into the WBC mandatory position, Errol Spence Jr. claimed the IBF title, Jeff Horn controversially upset Manny Pacquiao to win the WBO belt and Terence Crawford’s arrival on the welterweight scene is imminent.

Exciting times, but Thurman was told by doctors to rest up and not even think about boxing for a minimum of six months. Even now, the unbeaten boxer-puncher is still ticking over and doesn’t know who will be in the opposite corner for his May 19 comeback.

“I’m still being patient, but we need to ease into using (the elbow) at a heavy level and get prepared for the May date,” Thurman explained. “Normally we wouldn’t even announce a fight that’s over 100 days out, but this was part of a big announcement with Showtime.”

As a result, every prominent welterweight in the division has been calling out Thurman, which is only to be expected.

“I’m at the top,” laughed the unified titleholder. “Floyd (Mayweather’s) no more. Manny Pacquiao’s no more. I’ve been on the throttle for a long time. I was WBA champion for a while, then I unified titles. That was a big accomplishment for me and my career; it was a dream come true.

“Spence brought the title back home. We have two American champions and one Australian champion in the welterweight division. But Horn is fighting a champion such as Crawford. Even though Crawford is moving up, he is definitely favorite in that fight.”

The one name Thurman keeps hearing is Spence. His compatriot impressed many by travelling overseas and ripping the IBF crown from Kell Brook last May.

“I’m not worried about Spence,” said Thurman. “He’s a great boxer. He’s 100 percent fundamentally sound. He comes in shape. He puts on a great performance. He broke down many fighters and he broke down a champion in Kell Brook.

“I see what people are excited about and that’s good, but he just had his first title defense (seventh-round stoppage of Lamont Peterson in January). There’s other great fights at 147, and to be honest I want all four titles.”

However, while Thurman made it clear that a Spence fight isn’t on his immediate radar, he insists the “Superbowl” fight will happen in the future.

“You can let your blood boil or you can sit back and enjoy these fights in between and wait for this big fight,” said Thurman. “It will come through, but it’s not gonna happen in 2018. If he’s ‘The Truth’, he’s not gonna go nowhere. We already know I’m No. 1 for a reason. I’ve been tested. I’ve been through trials.

“I don’t have a problem fighting the best. I’ve already proven that many times. Some people think I’m scared. I’m not scared. I’m just playing my cards right. If you want to be a winner, you’ve got to play your cards right. When was the last time [there were three unified belts] in the welterweight division? Floyd Mayweather didn’t do it in his whole career.

“It is a historical event, so it’s going to need the recognition it deserves. It should happen in a timely fashion, obviously, but it can’t happen right after a surgery. I look forward to any challenge. I definitely look forward to great challenges, but what I look forward to the most is being the winner and making history.”

Let the countdown begin. Hopefully the stars align and Thurman-Spence becomes a reality in 2019.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright


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  • DRE

    Not worried about Errol Spence?. I get it Mr. Thurman, You’re the one top. You’re the man. But if Spence is nothing to worry about, go fight him already.

    • WR

      Floyd made everybody wait..Let Thurman do the same

      • MIjares Phillip

        Difference is the by the time Floyd was at WW, Floyd had already prove himself by defeating tough fighters from 130-140. Thurman acts like he’s accomplished Mayweather status when he hasn’t. Indongo was a unified champ (WBA & IBF) just like Thurman and we saw what happen to him.

      • Andy T

        Floyd made them wait because he was A side $$$$$ speaks
        If Thurman keeps up with this posturing Spence and Bud wont need him

        • WR

          That’s a joke…as long as Thurman has the WBC &WBA belts every fighter needs him smh

          • Keano

            Not really true… 2 uninspiring close decisions, fighting once a year, he’s fast becoming irrelevant. The belts are only as good as the holder.

          • WR

            That’s your opinion Last I heard Errol Spence wants all the Belts soo yea they gotta wait on Thurman

    • Julio

      I am not sure if Thurman would want to test himself against someone like Spence this year or any other year for that matter. His resume is not providing any indication of his “proven” status he claims he has.

  • Scott Rooker

    Look I get his position he has messed elbow fight a comeback fight then fight Sadam Ali then Errol in March 2019 by then Crawford have the other belt should be good

  • MIjares Phillip

    Could of swore Floyd was the WBO,WBC and WBA champ after beating Manny. He just chose not to pay and keep the Top Rank title (WBO).

    • WR

      Fans wanted that 5 yrs before

      • MIjares Phillip

        Manny should have agreed to the drug testing. Floyd agreed to 50/50 split and a 10 million penalty for every pound he came over 147.

        • WR

          Shoulda woulda coulda …. that’s all in the past now & it still took 5 yrs Btw Floyd never agreed to a50/50 split

      • D. Gambino

        It wouldn’t have mattered. Mayweather would’ve still beat him. No point in this one though since it’s long gone.

        • ceylon mooney

          true, but itda been a MUCH better fight.

        • Floridastorm

          Floyd defeated a man with a bum shoulder. And, it was a fairly close fight at that. If Manny had been 100% he may have have beaten Floyd. Nobody can fight with a damaged Rotator Cuff. Also, why did Floyd not allow Manny to have a pain killing shot before the fight? Ask yourself that.

          • D. Gambino

            If you’re referring to the fight being close on three judge scorecards – then you’re correct. As far as skill and technique goes – it wasn’t close at all. I don’t have to ask myself anything if Pacquiao was allowed the shot because shot or not – he still loses.

            The only version of Pacquiao that I felt had the best chance at beating Mayweather was the 2009-2010 version. Now THAT would’ve been a much closer fight as far as technique and skill goes but I still feel Mayweather gets the win probably by split decision.

            I can sense you’re a little triggered by my prior post. Just know I’m not trying to shit on your idol.

  • Dave O’Connor

    I think he should be worried, I think Spence would bash him.

    • ceylon mooney


  • wrecksracer

    I respect Thurman for beating Porter and Garcia…..but it’s not like those were dominant victories. He’s squeaked by decent talent. I don’t know…..fighting once a year. I don’t look forward to him fighting. He should want to fight Spence and Crawford.

    • Andy T

      Spence Kayoed Kell who beat Porter and Thurman only just beat him, I think Spence will wear Thurman down and win by KO. So I don’t think he wants anything of Spence

      • ceylon mooney

        porter gave thurman hell. he cant gandle spence. uh uh. KO.

    • D. Gambino

      You’re damn right about “squeaking” by Wrecks. All of those fights were close and could’ve easily went the other way.

      Sadly, Thurman still has an “obligation” to fight Porter before he fights Spence. You can be damn sure that Porter will not fight Spence before he gets Thurman.

  • Ten Count Toronto

    He’s not worried about Errol Spence because he doesn’t plan to fight him in the foreseeable future. At the rate his body breaks down, the next fight is likely the only one in 2018 and then he’ll need another tune up in 2019. If by that time Spence is still somehow able to make 147, then i predict Thurman will say HE can no longer make 147 and leave the division, starting the whole chase over again.

  • shawndhill

    “When was the last time [there were three unified belts] in the welterweight division? Floyd Mayweather didn’t do it in his whole career.”

    I think Brook had the IBF; Manny had the WBO and $May had the WBC & WBA.

    $May vs Pacman was for the WBO, WBC, IBF.

    Am I missing something?

    • Keano

      Thurman talking crap as usual

    • Fist_ti_cuffs

      You’re sadly mistaken. Floyd had all the belts (WBA, WBC, WBO and Ring) except for the IBF (Brook) belt when he retired.

      • ceylon mooney

        he vacated i thought

        • Fist_ti_cuffs

          Yep, but he won the title that night. Just check Boxrec.

  • Cousin Strawberry ( Cheech)

    Keith i fight “ONE TIME” a year Thurman. I dont see him fighting Spence anytime soon.

  • Black Oracle

    I need to see Thurman beat a couple of guys, before he gets in the ring with SPence. I think he knew Spence was a lot on the plate before he got injured, so I know he doesn’t believe he is ready for Spence now. There are other fights for Spence, I don’t need to see Thurman vs Spence yet.

  • ceylon mooney

    thurman is pretty forgettable; his best fight in the past few years was shawn porters fault.