Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman is really looking forward to the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Terence Crawford undisputed 147-lb championship fight, which could take place in September at the earliest.
The former WBA/WBC welterweight champion ‘One Time’ Thurman believes that the unbeaten southpaw Spence’s “high tempo” [high-volume] punching style will be a problem that Crawford will need to overcome.
The Spence-Crawford fight comes down to whether Crawford can match Spence’s high octane offense. If Crawford can’t match Spence’s output or come close, he’s going to lose. It’s as simple as that.
Unfortunately for Crawford, he’s not shown in his past fight that he’s capable of throwing a lot of punches, which shouldn’t be surprising to boxing fans.
After all, Crawford has been a counter punch from day one, and those types of fighters don’t throw a lot of shots. Although Crawford has knocked out his last nine opponents, most of the guys he’s fought have been middle-of-the-road-level opposition.
The one guy that stood out was Shawn Porter, but he was past it by the time he fought Crawford. He’d only fought once in the two years since his loss to Errol.
Crawford closed out well against Porter
“I thought he was very tactical. I remember giving him the nickname that night, ‘Crafty Crawford,” said Keith Thurman to PBC Podcast when asked to evaluate Terence Crawford’s last performance against Shawn Porter.
“He showed some of his craftiness and I thought he was very conservative and he just closed out the show,” Thurman continued about Crawford. “He exploited what Shawn does best.
“Shawn comes in, comes in, and he kept ducking and making him miss all night. He didn’t make him miss all night because he got caught later in the tenth. Crawford saw the pattern and was able to time him.
“In the moment before he stopped him, his corner told him, ‘This is a very close fight, you might be losing this fight.’ He was ‘How am I losing this fight?’
“I do believe he [Crawford] let Shawn fight a pretty good game up until that point. I know the official judges had Crawford still slightly ahead. He did let Shawn open pretty well, but Crawford closed out better.
“I thought Crawford’s hand speed looked good, his power looked good, but Crawford closed out better. Like I said, he’s crafty. Crafty Crawford, one of the best welterweights in the world today,” said Thurman.
Spence’s high tempo could be a problem
“It’s a tough one. It’s a true upper caliber and one that we wished we saw Saturday night, in my opinion,” said Thurman when asked who wins between Crawford and Spence.
“There were three titles on the line [for Spence vs. Yordnis Ugas], but it wasn’t the big match-up that it could have been. I just think that Spence, being ‘The Truth,’ he knows how to win and what the judges are looking for. That’s why he’s a tempo-based fighter.
“He’s always going to give you a certain tempo, and if you can’t match that, you’re simply going to lose. Hands down, you’re always going to lose,” Thurman said of Errol.
“Crawford, ex-world champion, a talented left-right, speed, power, agility more of a boxer and has that craftiness in him. It’s a style that the two haven’t faced. They haven’t faced each other.
“They haven’t faced that creme de la creme, toe-to-toe because I already know from what I saw last Saturday night, that Thurman brings more action to the table. Even if I’m sitting there taking punches, I give back.
“That’s what Crawford did to Shawn Porter. He had a tough fight, he consumed a lot of punches, snd he was looking to give back. Eventually, after a certain round on, he was able to start giving back and bring the fight back around to his favor before the stoppage.
“So both fighters know how to win and they want to win. That’s what I love to see in championship matchups. That’s what made my fight against Pacquiao so great. It was two fighters that wanted to win.
“A man getting knocked down, getting up and moving forward. That’s what makes a fight great. We all saw what happened to his [Ugas] eye. A lot of people want to see more brutality.
“The sport of boxing is evolving, and we’re a concussion-based sport. These referees and doctors are trying to do their best to say when enough damage is enough. They concluded that was enough damage.
“I don’t think that Ugas was inattentive. He was on his back foot, and he looked very hurt. I don’t think he could have survived six more minutes in there with someone like Errol Spence, who closes well in the end. He loves to put on a show.
Should Crawford take a tune-up?
“I think if Crawford waits until the next date with Spence, then the last time he would have fought in a competitive match would have been against Shawn Porter in November,” said Thurman.
“They’ll [Spence vs. Crawford] will probably be fighting in September, five months from now, and that’s on a minimum note. Unless they fast forward and Spence wants a quick turnaround if him and his trainer [Brian ‘BoMac’ MacIntyre] want to do something different and make history happen right here and now.
“There are so many options, but if Crawford were to take one more fight before, I think a Thurman fight would be a tremendous fight. I think there’s more to the competition. We know that the welterweight division is stacked with tremendous fighters.
“I definitely want to get in with a champion, but the choices that they make are the choices that they make. If I have to stay competitive and stay in the ring and fight somebody in the ranks and not a champion in the months to come, so be it.
“I’m going to stay busy and do my job, but my heart and my desire is always to make some of the best and the most exciting fights in the welterweight division.
“I guarantee you that Crawford vs. Thurman will be way more exciting than what everybody just saw last Saturday night. I just believe my level of competitiveness matches all these champions.
“With or without a belt, Keith Thurman is always going to be a champion. I want to get back in the mix and I hope I get the opportunity. So I hope I don’t get bypassed. If so, I’m always going to be right here, next in line.
“When I got in there with Mario Barrios, I realized that he’s not any more challenging than my sparring partners. Once I found out I could dominate from the outside, I just rinsed & repeated.
“I was seeing if I could bait him [Barrios] in and get him to commit and make some mistakes, but he was being very conservative and very methodical and I sensed that. Maybe some of that was timidness, but maybe I gave him a little bit more respect than I needed to.
“But once I was committed to that game plan, I stuck to that game plan and we made it to the finish line with a pretty dominant performance.
“I was having some fun in there, to be honest, and it felt great to be back performing. So, I enjoyed that,” said Thurman.