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Errol Spence Jr Snubs Potential Thurman Fight Despite Slim Pickings Going Forward After Devastating Loss

Errol Spence Jr Snubs Potential Thurman Fight Despite Slim Pickings Going Forward And Devastating Loss featured image
NEW YORK, NY - October 16: Errol Spence, Jr speaks during the Errol Spence, Jr and Keith Thurman Press conference, where Errol announced his upcomg fight against Lamont Peterson and Keith indicated that his next fight will not be a championship fight, at the Barclay Center October 14, 2017 in Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

Errol Spence Jr has rebuffed any interest to fight the quasi-retired former welterweight champion Keith Thurman after it was suggested they should face each other. With no fight for Spence being in the works following his July 29th loss to Terence Crawford last year, the former unified 147 lbs champion is in the most precarious state of his career if he intends to return to the ring, and the rejection of a potential Thurman fight only further threatens to derail Spence as he continues to remain inactive.

While the reasons for Errol Spence Jr (28-1, 22 KO’s) rejecting the prospect of facing Keith Thurman (30-1, 22 KO’s) can only be speculated upon, eyebrows have been raised at Spence’s decision who responded to a suggestion from media outlet Champside to fight Thurman with a simple but firm response of “Nahh.

Though Spence is well within his rights to choose and pick who he wants to face―as he is currently beltless, a fight with Thurman appears to be the most feasible and profitable bout for Spence if he is planning a return in boxing.

Due to the devastating stoppage loss he suffered to Terence Crawford (40-0, 31 KO’s) last year, a “rebuilding” phase for Errol Spence Jr would have been the most logical course of action given the similarly inactive Thurman carries some degree of popularity within the United States, setting up an opportunity for Spence to make a comeback against an opponent in what would likely become a competitive fight given the recent forms of both fighters.

Even the abundantly active WBO super welterweight/junior middleweight champion, Tim Tszyu (24-0, 17 KO’s), reverted to facing Thurman when there had seemingly been no opponents for him to face in his own weight class. While their fight was a gross mismatch and eventually cancelled as Thurman pulled out due to an injury, Spence is not currently an active champion and would benefit more from fighting Thurman coming off of a loss―as it would provide him an opportunity to get back into the mix, unlike Tszyu who as an active champion is supposed to face top 15 opponents [as champions are not allowed to defend their titles against unranked fighters without repercussions].

However, Spence’s latest Tweet seems to indicate he has zero interest in facing a Thurman in a comeback fight, a sentiment that seems rooted in Thurman’s refusal to fight Spence when he had still been an active champion at welterweight. Nearly a decade ago, Keith Thurman had been reluctant to face Spence, deeming him to not have a big enough name for the fight to be intriguing as Spence was but a contender with no world title fights on his resume.

During the next couple of years, Thurman’s activity drastically waned as injuries mounted, resulting in his WBC welterweight title being forfeited in 2018. A year later, Thurman lost his last remaining WBA ‘super’ title in a split-decision loss to Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2, 39 KO’s), effectively ending Thurman’s tenure as a champion that had lasted for approximately three years―taking into account he became a legitimate WBA world champion without the ‘regular’ or ‘super’ distinctions when he defeated Shawn Porter (31-4-1, 17 KO’s) in 2016.

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BROOKLYN, NY – June 25: ( MANDATORY CREDIT Bill Tompkins/Getty Images ) Keith Thurman defeats Shawn Porter by Unanimous Decision on June 25th, 2016 in Brooklyn. (Photo by Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

Errol Spence Jr would eventually go on to collect all of Thurman’s previous belts [WBC and WBA] before his fateful defeat to Terence Crawford in 2023. With there still being some unfinished business between Spence and Thurman, as the two fighters had never been able to prove themselves against one another, there would be genuine interest in a fight between the two. Additionally, the winner would be able to use their victory as a stepping stone to get back on track to be considered a genuine contender within whatever division they would choose to compete in.

Currently, Errol Spence Jr faces a tough road ahead if he does intend to snub a potential fight with Keith Thurman. While it is unknown in which division Spence would continue to ply his trade in if he were to return to the ring, with last year’s rumors heavily suggesting he was going to fight at 154 lbs in the first place, a fight at super welterweight would be an ideal comeback bout for both Spence and Thurman who have been riddled by either losses, inactivity, or both.

However, as it stands now, Spence’s lack of interest to face Thurman leaves his future in doubt, with most of the suitable options at 154 lbs being too active and accustomed to their weight class to be considered as viable opponents for a fighter coming off a TKO [technical knockout] loss.

While there are plenty of other fighters in the division that are lower tier and would give Spence a chance to rebuild his career in a new division, Thurman’s name and ability provides the only financial and competitive advantage for Spence to continue on to recuperate his career.

Without Thurman, Spence faces the choice between either fighting a more established fighter in the division―which would increase the likelihood of him suffering a loss, or a lesser-known fighter; which might not help Spence as much in any of the official sanctioning bodies’ rankings, and would not allow him to make anywhere close to the same earnings he was used to making when he had been a champion.

Moreover, with Errol Spence Jr having suffered a destructive defeat last year―all while claiming he was injured, the former unified welterweight champion appears to have only a marginal set of options to stage a return against; with Thurman serving as the best option by far compared to any other fighter currently available.