For much of his welterweight title run, Keith Thurman showed little to no interest in facing a young and hungry upcoming prospect by the name of Errol Spence Jr. Nevertheless, after watching the Dallas, native aggregate three of the four major world titles at 147-pounds, Thurman has begun singing a different tune. While he’s now urging Spence to defend his WBA, WBC, and IBF titles against him, Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) has now flipped the script, going as far as to say that he would rather move up in weight than take Thurman up on his offer.
Spence though, now finds himself backed into an unrelenting corner. With Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC sanctioning body's current president, issuing a slew of mandated bouts, Spence vs. Thurman, much to the chagrin of the unified champion, was amongst them.
As the rest of the boxing community continues to show ambivalence toward Sulaiman’s ruling, Shawn Porter becomes intrigued by the possibility of watching his two former rivals lock horns.
Of course, like many, Porter was initially hopeful that an undisputed bout between Spence and Terence Crawford was next for both men. However, with negotiations falling apart, Porter believes that Spence vs. Thurman could serve as a terrific consolation prize.
“Honestly, I think my heart wants to say that it’s a really good alternative,” said Porter to FightHype.com recently. “I think it all just depends on Keith. He is in the latter stages of his career. I just know from experience and I know from what I’ve seen from other fighters for so long, the energy and everything that you gave boxing early on in your career, the middle of your career, it’s just much different than it is on the back end of your career.”
Once viewed as one of the brighter stars in the sport, Thurman solidified himself as the man to beat following consecutive victories over Porter and Danny Garcia. But while the now 33-year-old began basking underneath the pugilistic spotlight, his career took a turn for the worst.
Unable to remain healthy for a protracted period, Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) has spent most of his time watching the sport from a distance. After being forced to miss nearly three years due to the injury bug, the former unified champion returned to the ring against Mario Barrios earlier this year.
While he may have picked up the win, Porter admits that he was far from impressed. Having hung up his gloves for good in November of 2021, Porter spends most of his time analyzing his former contemporaries. In doing so, the former two-time titlist is now under the impression that Thurman has lost a step. If the Clearwater, Florida, native intends to spring the upset against Spence, Porter is convinced that he’ll need to turn back the clock considerably.
“Errol Spence is a great fighter, good can’t beat great. Once upon a time, Keith was great. The question is, does he have that in him? Based on his last fight, long way from the lip to the cup. It just looks like he’s got a lot of work to do in order to get back to being a supreme, athletic talent.”