Errol Spence Jr has been ordered by the WBC to defend his welterweight title against Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman in the next defense of his IBF/WBA/WBC belts.
Thurman is a good replacement opponent for Spence after his negotiations with Terence Crawford turned sour recently.
‘One Time’ Thurman looked outstanding in his fight earlier this year against Mario Barrios, beating him soundly and looking like the fighter he’d been in his prime.
Spence has been negative to the idea of giving Thurman a title shot because he doesn’t want to do him any favors after the way he froze him out back in 2016 when he wanted a world title shot.
The World Boxing Council ordered the Spence vs. Thurman fight earlier today at their convention in Mexico in a move that removes the possibility of Errol taking on another opponent like Eimantis Stanionis in his next fight unless he wants to give up his WBC title.
Spence (28-0, 22 KOs) hasn’t yet reacted to the news of the WBC ordering him to face the former WBA/WBC champion Thurman. 30-1, 22 KOs).
If Spence chooses not to defend against Thurman for whatever reason, he can always vacate or wait for the WBC to strip him of his title.
The problem is, there isn’t anyone on par with Thurman in terms of popularity at 147 that can bring Spence the same type of money and attention.
Hardcore boxing fans are well familiar with Thurman despite his inactivity in the last five years since 2017, and the casuals will be won over by him with his ability to promote the fight.
Like Crawford, Spence tends to be tongue-tied when giving interviews and promoting his fights.
For that reason, Thurman is the ideal guy for Spence to fight if he wants to get attention from fans and put on a better show than Crawford’s title defense against David Avanesyan on December 10th on BLK Prime in Omaha, Nebraska.
Thurman, 33, recently returned from a long 2+ year layoff to defeat Mario Barrios in a WBC 147-lb title eliminator last February to earn the mandatory spot to challenge the champion Spence. Crawford won the fight by a 12 round unanimous decision with the scores of 117–111, 117-111, and 118–110.
Spence had the opportunity to defend against Thurman last year, but he didn’t fight because he suffered an eye injury while training for a match against Manny Pacquiao.