By Keith Idec
Bob Arum heard all about Keith Thurman’s stance on Terence Crawford’s move to the welterweight division.
The unbeaten WBA/WBC welterweight champion claimed recently that Crawford would need to become a “relevant” welterweight before he would consider fighting Crawford. If Thurman did agree to face Crawford at some point, Arum doesn’t think Thurman would be any match for the undefeated Crawford, who’s promoted by Arum’s company, Top Rank Inc.
“Thurman really doesn’t have much of a chance with Terence,” Arum told BoxingScene.com. “But Spence is a terrific, terrific fighter, and he and Terence, I think, will be a major, major fight down the road.”
Spence (22-0, 19 KOs), a powerful southpaw who owns the IBF welterweight title, hopes to fight Thurman sometime in 2018.
Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) is still recovering from elbow surgery performed six months ago. The Clearwater, Florida, native expects to return to the ring for a “welcome back” fight either late in February or in March.
Arum expects Spence to defeat Thurman whenever they square off, yet added, “You never know. I’ve been in boxing for so long, you know, there are always changes and things that you anticipate don’t come off. But looking at the whole field, I certainly think [Crawford-Spence is] the fight that’s gonna create the most interest.
“If Thurman fights Spence and Thurman happens to beat Spence, which I don’t think he will, then, you know, we’d approach Thurman as far as doing a fight with Terence. But the way I really look at it, without knowing for sure, is that Spence beats those guys on that side of the table and Spence and Terence then fight for supremacy. And that, I think, is a big fight. But I could be wrong.”
Crawford won five world titles at 140 pounds, but has decided to move up to 147 pounds for his next fight. The WBO made Crawford the mandatory challenger for its welterweight champion, Australia’s Jeff Horn, last week.
The 30-year-old Crawford (32-0, 23 KOs), of Omaha, Nebraska, is expected to fight the winner an upcoming bout between Horn (17-0-1, 11 KOs) and England’s Gary Corcoran (17-1, 7 KOs). Horn will make the first defense of the title he won from Manny Pacquiao against Corcoran on December 13 in Brisbane, Australia, Horn’s hometown.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.