Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman says he’ll be ready and willing to challenge WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford for his title by next summer.
Thurman was considered the #1 welterweight on the planet from 2016 to 2018, but injuries, inactivity, and weight issues have derailed his once-promising career. ‘One Time’ Thurman is still arguably the best talker in the welterweight division, but he doesn’t fight and hasn’t performed at a high level since his win over Shawn Porter in 2016.
The former WBA/WBC 147-lb champion Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) is eager to emerge from his long three-year layoff to take on the undefeated Crawford (38-0, 29 KOs).
It’s unknown if the World Boxing Organization would be agreeable to sanction the Crawford-Thurman fight, considering that Thurman will have been out of the ring for approximately 36 months when he’s ready to take on Crawford next summer.
Thurman wants Crawford next summer
Three years is a long time for a fighter to be out of the ring, especially if they’re going straight into a world title fight in their first match.
It appears that Thurman no longer cares about taking “get-back” fights, and he wants to fight for a title against Crawford regardless.
The fans just witnessed a cash-out last Saturday night between Crawford and the 34-year-old Shawn Porter, who failed to tell the boxing media that he was planning on retiring immediately after the fight.
Fans would rather see Crawford fight relevant opposition, not another old-timer in Thurman coming back for a cash-out before disappearing for another three years of hibernation.
“I’m going to be getting back in the ring shortly. I’d be more than happy, more than willing, to step in the ring with Bud Crawford next summer,” said Keith Thurman to The Athletic.
“I’m willing to fight Crawford eight months from now, approximately. I would love to fight.”
Thurman was talking about returning to the ring in October of this year, but nothing happened. He’s still inactive, sitting at home and talking but not fighting.
Crawford might be taking a risk if he chooses to fight Thurman because we don’t know if ‘One Time’ will actually go through with the match.
Even if Thurman signs for the fight, will he make it through training camp without suffering an injury? As fragile as Thurman is, it’s questionable whether he can go through a training camp without getting hurt in some manner.
As long as Crawford is okay with his fight with Thurman being postponed once or twice, it’s a decent stay-busy type of title defense. At this point of Thurman’s career, he’s shot to pieces, and nowhere near the fighter he was in his heyday six years ago.
“He seems like somebody who, of course, wants accolades on his record,” said Thurman about Crawford. “He wants these titles in his possession. He also wants the legacy that has names that are part of history,” Thurman said.
A safer, more realistic option for Crawford is to defend against Jaron Ennis or Vergil Ortiz Jr. Those guys are both young at 24, and they would give Crawford more to think about than what we saw from past his best Shawn Porter did last weekend or the equally shot Thurman.
Crawford wants the fight against IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr., but he’s coming off an eye injury, and he doesn’t seem enthusiastic about facing him.
“Maybe if Spence gets his tail out of his butt, he’d fight me,” said Crawford last Saturday.