The World Boxing Association (WBA) has confirmed that their organization has approved a request for Errol Spence to make a world title defense against former unified champion Keith Thurman in the month of February.
"On November 14, 2022, TGB Promotions applied for special permission on behalf of Spence to fight Thurman in February 2023, but with specific mandatory conditions. Pursuant to WBA rule C.16, which states that mandatory defense periods can be modified for cause, either by special permission request or on its own initiative, the WBA decided that Spence can face Thurman," the WBA stated.
Spence, who holds the WBC, WBA and IBF titles at 147-pounds, was recently ordered by the World Boxing Council to make a mandatory defense against Thurman.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) saw action back in April, when he stopped Yordenis Ugas to unify their three world titles. And Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs), saw action in February when he decisioned Mario Barrios over twelve rounds.
Additionally, the sanctioning body recently ordered WBA "regular" welterweight champion Eimantas Stanionis to make a mandatory defense against Vergil Ortiz. Ortiz defeated Michael McKinson in a WBA eliminator on August 8. The winner of the bout, or Stanionis if it ends in a draw, will face the winner of Spence-Thurman within 180 days of their bouts.
"The winners of these bouts will square off in the near future to determine the pioneer body’s sole 147-pound champion," the WBA added.
"The winner of the Spence-Thurman bout is obligated to meet the winner of Stanionis-Ortiz. This ruling supersedes all previous rulings and any issues that arise along the way will be resolved under WBA rules."