As fight fans may have read, a fight between Errol Spence and Keith Thurman was ordered by the WBC yesterday, this at the WBC convention in Acapulco. The fight we all wanted, and still want, is of course the welterweight unification showdown between Spence, the reigning WBC/WBA/IBF champ, and Terence Crawford, the current WBO champ. That fantastic match-up may still take place next year, but many a fight fan is refusing to hold his or her breath.
Crawford will as we know face David Avanesyan next, on December 10. To say fan reaction to this fight has been lukewarm is pretty much an understatement. Avanesyan is a good fighter, for sure, but Crawford, who many rank in the Top-3 pound-for-pound charts, is on a whole different level and “Bud” should be testing his formidable skills against elite opposition such as Spence, who is so obviously his biggest rival.
Spence against Thurman is a better, more interesting match-up than Crawford-Avanesyan. Thurman, beaten only by Manny Pacquiao in a close affair, has been chronically inactive over the last few years (with “One Time” having has just once fight since the July 2019 loss to Pac Man) and Thurman has been plagued by injuries. Still, at age 33, Thurman is younger than Crawford and he is only a year older than Spence. Maybe it’s due to Thurman having fought so infrequently that we have been able to see his decline, but going by what we have seen of Thurman, he is no shot fighter.
And Spence and Thurman have a little dash of bad blood between them that would perhaps add to the fight. Spence is still angry over the way Thurman refused him a title shot when “The Truth” was an upcoming contender and Thurman was champion. In fact, it could be that Spence actually refuses to accept the WBC order to fight Thurman due to this reason. But if Spence doesn’t fight Thurman next, as he waits, we hope, for that mega-fight with Crawford, then who will the Texan southpaw fight?
It’s been said that Spence, 28-0(22) may opt to move up in weight, to 154 pounds. Spence could vacate the WBC belt, along with the other two straps he holds, as he moves up a division. We will simply have to wait and see. But really, though some will no doubt see it as a fight that has passed its sell-by date, Spence-Thurman is not a bad match-up for 2023. And of course, Al Haymon looks after both fighters, so the fight should not be a tough one to make. But do both men really want it? How much hunger has the 30-1(22) Thurman got left? Is Spence too stubborn to allow Thurman to pick up a nice payday combined with a shot at his three titles? Who wins and how if Spence and Thurman do rumble?