Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman believes the welterweight division is hurt by Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford holding all four belts, not allowing the other young fighters to make exciting fights.
Thurman has tried calling out Spence and Crawford for a title shot, but it’s not happening, and he’s getting old waiting for his chance.
Former WBA/WBC 147-lb champion Thurman would like to see the belts fragmented once again so that other contenders like himself can compete for them.
Unfortunately, one of the negative drawbacks to fighters like Spence and Crawford looking to unify the 147-lb division is that it reduces the opportunities for other contenders like Thurman, Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis, Conor Benn, and Vergil Ortiz Jr. to capture belts.
Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) was considered the #1 fighter in the welterweight division until three years ago, but he’s now beltless and aging at 33. Who knows if Thurman will win another world title in the 147-lb division?
Thurman says he may have to broaden his horizons and move up to 154 if he can’t get a shot at one of the belts at 147.
‘Thurman wants belts, and if he can’t get one at 147, I might have to move up,” said Keith Thurman to PBC Podcast, talking about his unhappiness with the titles at 147 being controlled by Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford.
If Thurman moves up to 154, it might not be any easier for him to get a crack at a title in that weight class. Jermell Charlo holds all the belts at 154.
“For two champions, Errol Spence and Bud Crawford, to be holding onto all four belts right now, it just hurts the welterweight division as far as making some of the most exciting fights.
“That’s just the caliber of competition that we have in the welterweight division,” said Thurman.
“I believe a lot of fighters could be champions if there wasn’t an Errol Spence and Bud Crawford currently holding onto all the belts. If all the belts were free-floating out there, we’d have a lot of young champions out there, and there would be a lot of new action.
“We just have to wait to see what manifests in the welterweight division and how we get past this generation of everybody fighting for the crown.
“It’s not that I’m running away from the welterweight division. I’d be happy to jump back down to the welterweight division, but I’m all about good fights and proper timing.
“I seen his record and I don’t know who he’s beaten. He also has a record that matches mine,” said Thurman about Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis. “He’s had tons of fights, but I still don’t think he’s fought, anybody.
“He’s tremendously talented, but I do think it’s going to take a world-class fighter like myself to do something against Boots Ennis. As dominant as he’s been, you can’t just put anybody against him,” said Thurman.