By Bill "Two Scoops" Emes
WBA 'regular' welterweight champion Keith 'One Time' Thurman (26-0, 22KOs) believes Floyd Mayweather Jr. (48-0, 26KOs), who holds the WBC/WBA super welterweight belts, is using undefeated contender Errol Spence Jr. (17-0, 14KOs) as a pawn.
In June, Mayweather started pushing for Thurman to face Spence on his September 12th Showtime Pay-Per-View undercard. At the time, Thurman had been pushing to face Mayweather on that card. After Spence defeated Phil Lo Greco on June 20, he immediately called out Thurman.
Thurman believes Mayweather instructed Spence to make the public challenge as a calculated move.
"He threw him in the mix so we could stop talking about Keith Thurman vs. Floyd Mayweather. It's called 'trying to get the monkey off his back' or more like a gorilla with these hands. Errol Spence is a talented fighter. He's exactly where I was three years ago when I came out on HBO," Thurman said.
"He has this nice coming out on NBC and he wants to call out one of the top welterweights in the welterweight division. Of all the welterweights in the welterweight division that Errol Spence can call out, he wants to call out Keith Thurman? Uncle Floyd Mayweather told him to do it and he said 'okay, no problem. I'll do what you ask.' Whenever that boy deserves an actual title shot against a real champion, I'll be here and I'll be willing to give it to him."