By Keith Idec
Errol Spence Jr.-Terence Crawford has supplanted Spence-Keith Thurman as the fight within the welterweight division.
Crawford arguably is the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport. Spence also is a consensus top-10 fighter on credible pound-for-pound lists.
Thurman, meanwhile, hasn’t fought since edging Danny Garcia by split decision in their 12-round, 147-pound title unification fight 15½ months ago. Elbow surgery and a hand injury have prevented Thurman from fighting since their March 2017 bout in Brooklyn and halted his momentum.
The unbeaten Thurman turned off fans in November when the WBA welterweight champion said he wouldn’t even consider fighting Spence until some point in 2019. Spence still wants to battle Thurman, though, and the IBF champion thinks that bout will happen prior to him stepping in the ring with Crawford (33-0, 24 KOs), who stopped Jeff Horn (18-1-1, 12 KOs) in the ninth round Saturday night in Las Vegas to win the WBO welterweight title.
“Well, I’m definitely interested in that fight,” Spence said of facing Thurman during a conference call Tuesday. “I think that’s the fight, you know, that it’ll be easier to make because we have the same management [Al Haymon] and we fight on the same network [Showtime]. So we deal with the same people, business-wise, so I feel like that fight is easier to make.
“So that’s definitely a fight I’ve been wanting, the fight that I still want when he comes back. You know, seeing how he comes back and how many tune-up fights that he needs to feel the same.”
The 29-year-old Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs, 1 NC), of Clearwater, Florida, could end his long layoff August 4 against an undetermined opponent.
The 28-year-old Spence (23-0, 20 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, is set to make a mandatory defense of his IBF welterweight title against Mexico’s Carlos Ocampo (22-0, 13 KOs) on Saturday night. Spence-Ocampo is the main event of Showtime’s tripleheader from Ford Center at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility in Frisco, Texas (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.