Errol Spence Jr could be saying goodbye to the 147-lb division by his decision to face Keith Thurman at 154 in April. It’s believed this is Spence’s way of giving up on the welterweight division without making a formal announcement about it.
It makes sense for Spence NOT to return to the welterweight division because if he returns after the Thurman fight, fans will expect him to face the dangerous young wolf Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
Staying at 147 might be bad for Spence’s health because he’s no longer active enough to fight dangerous punchers like Ennis, and he’s an old 32.
This also applies to the 36-year-old Terence Crawford, who fights only once a year and hasn’t faced anyone remotely good since moving up to the 147-lb division in 2018.
The WBA president Gilberto Mendoza told ESPN that Spence has permission to move up 154 for the Thurman fight without losing his title at 147 with that organization, but he then has 60 days to negotiate with Terence Crawford, or else he’ll need to face the Eimantas Stanionis vs. Vergil Ortiz Jr fight next.
If Spence takes those fights, the fans would then demand that he stay at 147 to face Jaron Ennis, and one gets the sense that’s a fight that Errol wants no part of.
As such, it’s better for Spence to leave the 147-lb division with his fight with Thurman and save himself the wear & tear of dealing with the gauntlet of Crawford, Stanionis-Ortiz Jr winner, and Boots Ennis.
Earlier today, it was revealed that Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) would be going up to junior middleweight to face Thurman (30-1, 22 KOs) in a fight with no titles on the line in their April bout in a PBC event on pay-per-view.
If Spence chooses to stay at 154, hardcore boxing fans won’t get the opportunity to see him face WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford for the undisputed championship in the 147-lb division.
Casual fans won’t care that Spence & Crawford won’t meet for the undisputed because they don’t follow the sport closely enough to know about titles. They just want to see a good fight between Spence, Crawford, or Jaron ‘Boots’ Ennis.
Fighting Thurman at this point is all about money for Spence because the former WBA/WBC welterweight champion has fought just once in the last four years, beating Mario Barrios last February.
By the time Thurman faces Spence in April, he’ll have been inactive for the last 14 months and likely rusty and nowhere near the fighter he was in his prime in 2016.