By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Interest in an Errol Spence Jr.-Keith Thurman fight has waned somewhat over the past eight months.
Thurman’s contention that he wouldn’t seriously consider facing Spence until 2019 and his lengthy recovery from elbow surgery made fans turn their attention toward other fights. The often-injured Thurman’s lengthy absence also has helped make Spence-Terence Crawford the fight within the welterweight division.
Regardless, Spence expects fans to get excited again about his showdown with Thurman once the unbeaten WBA champion comes back from the hand injury that postponed his return to the ring. Spence’s preference is to fight the winner of the Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter fight for the WBC welterweight title Thurman vacated late in April and then battle Thurman.
If Spence (24-0, 21 KOs) defeats the Garcia-Porter winner and Thurman, the southpaw from DeSoto, Texas, then would pursue a fight against Crawford. Whatever fans think of Spence-Thurman, Spence still is very interested in it.
“Well, he still has one of the belts,” Spence told a small group of reporters Tuesday at a restaurant in Manhattan. “He vacated the WBC. He still has one of the belts and I think that’s a fight that probably could happen later on. I don’t know anything about his commitment. I don’t know if he’s injured or he’s not. If he is injured, I hope he comes back healthy. If he’s not injured, I hope he still comes back and we can make that fight happen.
“Keith Thurman’s still a big name and once Keith Thurman fights or he gets a knockout or he looks spectacular, they’ll be saying Errol Spence and Keith Thurman all over again. So, I mean, it’s definitely a fight that could happen, like I said. We do business with the same people. It’s a fight that could happen. You’ve got Danny Garcia-Shawn Porter. The Crawford fight, that’s not gonna happen right away. I mean, that’s down the line, but that could happen, too.”
The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC) was supposed to fight May 19 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but he suffered a hand injury during training in March and his return was postponed.
The Clearwater, Florida, native’s comeback still hasn’t been rescheduled. Thurman, who hasn’t fought since defeating Garcia by split decision in March 2017, hasn’t chosen an opponent for that bout, either.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.