Keith Thurman wants a rematch with Manny Pacquiao and a fight against Errol Spence Jr. that is even less likely to happen next.
If Terence Crawford wants a piece of the former WBA welterweight champion, though, Thurman is willing to give Crawford a chance to fight a top opponent represented by Al Haymon. Thurman acknowledged his interest in facing Crawford during an Instagram Live interview Monday with Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores.
“Crawford knows he can get it,” Thurman said. “I’m a very simple man, when it comes to the fight world and doing business. You know what I mean? Be real. Be real, send the contract, watch me sign it. You know what I’m saying?”
The 31-year-old Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs, 1 NC) hasn’t fought since he underwent surgery seven months ago to fuse bones in his left hand. He still hasn’t started using his left hand with full force, which makes him hesitant about boxing an elite opponent like Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs) in his first fight since Pacquiao edged him by split decision July 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Next fight? I could debate on it,” Thurman said. “Of course, part of me wouldn’t like it because I would respect that Crawford is a champion who’s always in shape. You know, of course I’d wanna be prepared for that, coming off of everything I’ve come off of. If it’s not exactly what I want, which is the Manny Pacquiao rematch, you know, there are good fights out there that are good fights to let me [re-establish] some form of dominance in the welterweight division, and then go right into a Crawford or Spence [fight]. That’s another thing – if I’m presented with a contract, if I’m presented with both at the same time, I’ll go Spence over Crawford. Spence has the priority over Crawford.”
Spence stated during his own Instagram Live interview with Flores last week that he isn’t interested in fighting Thurman because Thurman wouldn’t fight him when Thurman held the WBA welterweight title. Nevertheless, Thurman considers Spence (26-0, 21 KOs), the IBF/WBC champion, a potential opponent.
“Outside of [anything political], at the end of the day, he has two belts,” Thurman said. “He has more pull, more weight in the welterweight division. Terence Crawford has done tremendous throughout his whole career. I’m still not a fan of the [WBO] belt that he holds, so I’m more interested in the matchup, in the fight itself, over being champion of that sanctioning body. But at the end of the day, you know, I love great fights, I love being champion of the world, so you know, if I’m presented with those kind of opportunities, I’m not gonna hesitate. I’m not gonna wait. I might take it. I might take it right [away].”
Crawford, meanwhile, would rather oppose Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) or Spence than Thurman. The unbeaten WBO welterweight champion is more likely, of course, to square off against England’s Kell Brook (39-2, 27 KOs) once the boxing business returns to normal than any of those three PBC-affiliated fighters.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.