Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman sees IBF/WBC welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence Jr as having the tools to deal with Manny Pacquiao’s eighth career defeat on August 21st.
Former WBA/WBC 147-lb champion Thurman says Pacquiao’s southpaw stance won’t be any use to him against the southpaw Spence, so he’s not going to be able to count on that.
The injury-prone Thurman came close to beating Pacquiao two years ago, losing a 12 round split decision. Pacquiao hasn’t fought since then, and it’s believed that his skills will be eroded when he gets in the ring with Errol.
Pacquiao has been doing a lot of shadow boxing in front of his many followers, but he looks slower and not the guy he was eons ago.
Spence can be beaten, though, as we saw in his war with Shawn Porter in September 2019. Errol looked slow and flat-footed in that fight and was just barely edged Porter.
Keith: Spence has the tools to win
“He wiggled away that victory over me by one point,” said Thurman to ESNEWS. “Errol prides himself on outperforming me, and all he has to do is one more time.
“I believe he has all the tools that it takes to beat a Manny Pacquiao. Also, I think styles make fights.
“How is Pacquiao going to perform when his awkward movement against right-handed fighters is not going to be the same against a southpaw.
“It’s going to be more like an orthodox fighting another orthodox. Now, we haven’t seen Manny or Errol fight a ton of skillful southpaws throughout their careers.
“So we don’t know who this favors when it comes to southpaw vs. southpaw. The last time I saw Errol, it might have been against Lamont Peterson.
“From my memory, a very talented southpaw. Errol walked him down and used his jab all day and was pretty much able to win with the one and the two.
“I think he [Spence] can try and take that fundamental approach, but with Manny moving, he might make it a little difficult to stick that jab out all day.
“But he’s [Spence] the bigger man and can press Manny back. We know when he gets you to the ropes, he likes to go to the body.
“I think there are one or two things that do favor Errol Spence. But like I said, if there’s anybody that is going to surprise us and job in with that speed and that power and catch you off guard, that’s Manny Pacquiao,” Thurman said.
Spence, 5’9 1/2″, has the size, the reach, power, and the youth going for him against the 5’5 1/2″ Pacquiao.
There won’t be much that Pacquiao will do if Spence uses his height and reach to control the fight from the outside.
If this were Pacquiao from 10+ years ago, Spence wouldn’t have much success using his height. Unfortunately, that version of the Filipino star is long gone. Pacquiao is now bigger, slower, and a lot older.
Thurman wants the Pacquiao – Spence winner
” Most definitely,” Thurman said when asked if he wants to fight the Pacquiao vs. Spence fight winner.
“This fight didn’t happen because Keith Thurman won. This fight happened because Keith Thurman took an L. I fell short; I dropped the ball, I fumbled.
“Only winners make it to the Super Bowl, and that’s what we see right now. We see a big fight, a mega-fight.
“It could be me in there going into next month, but it’ll not be me because of what happened in the Summer of 2019.
“So I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring, showing people that I have not skipped a beat, and I’m going to be right back at the top of the division and hopefully taking on the winner of this fight early next year,” said Thurman.
I think it’s safe to say that Thurman WON’T get a shot against Spence if he comes out victorious on August 21st.
Spence has already made it clear that he’s not going to fight Thurman because he never gave him the time of day back in 2016 and 2017.
Thurman has a chance, not a good one, of landing a fight against Pacquiao if he beats a solid top five-level welterweight in his next fight.
Pacquiao will not fight Thurman if he doesn’t get back in the ring soon and defeat a high-level guy at 147 or 154.
As of now, Thurman doesn’t have a fight scheduled, but when he does eventually return to the ring at the end of the summer, he’s likely going to fight one of the firing contenders.
An ideal fight for Thurman would be WBA Super world welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas, which would give him his belt if he wins. Thurman needs the WBA title to lure Spence or Pacquiao to fight him.
Thurman should be pushing his management at PBC to set up a fight between him and Yordenis Ugas because if beats him, he’ll have the golden ticket to get Spence to face him. Spence wants the WBA belt so that he can try and unify the 147-lb division.